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German Police Officers guarding a military hospital.

Crime in Germany is combated by the German Police and other agencies.



European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)Edit

In the EU-SILC survey, respondents are questioned whether they experience problems with violence, crime or vandalism in the area they live. In the 2010-2017 time frame, the EU average dropped by 3%. All countries in the EU except Germany, Sweden and Lithuania showed a falling trend.[2]

By typeEdit

In Germany's 2010 crime statistics, 5.93 million criminal acts were committed, down two percent from 2009.[3] According to the Interior Ministry, it is the first time the figure has fallen below six million offenses since 1991 (the year after reunification), and is the lowest crime level since records began.[3] The rate of crimes solved in 2010 was 56 percent, a record high, up from 2009's 55.6%.[3]

Internet related crime climbed 8.1 percent in 2010, with around 224,000 reported cases.[3] The number of homes broken into in 2010 was also up by 6.6 percent.[3]

Domestic violenceEdit

According to 2015 statistics, there were 127 000 victims of domestic violence (German: Häusliche Gewalt) of which 82% were female. This represented a rise of 5.5% over 2012 statistics. The most common crime is bodily harm: a slap or a strike enough to be prosecuted but often are not. The two next most common crimes were threats (14.4%) and grievous bodily harm (German: schwere Körperverletzung) or injury with deadly outcome (German: Verletzung mit Todesfolge) at 12%. A fourth of the suspects were drunk.[4]

Ex partner victims were mostly targeted by stalking.[4]


In 2016, Germany had a murder rate of 1.18 per 100,000 population.[5]

Organized crimeEdit

In 2017, statistics suggested that German citizens constitute the largest group of suspects in organised crime trials. The proportion of non-German citizen suspects increased from 67.5% to 70.7% from the previous year. 14.9% of the German citizens involved held a different citizenship at birth.[6]

Arab mafiaEdit

Die Welt reported in 2016 that Berlin and Bremen have significant problems with organised crime in the form of "Arab Families," of which seven to nine[7] are criminally conspicuous and today "dominate the bulk of organized crime". In another article, Die Welt claimed that prostitutes in the Schöneberg neighbourhood are controlled by one family, with German pimps paying them protection money.[8]

Italian organized crimeEdit

The 'Ndrangheta, Camorra and Cosa Nostra all operate in Germany; the 'Ndrangheta has the strongest presence. There are some estimated 1200 members of the Ndrangheta active in Germany, mostly in the cocaine trade. Apart from the Ndrangheta, the Neapolitan Camorra has also infiltrated the construction industry in Germany. Furthermore, there are also five Sicilian Mafia groups active in the country, but they seem to have lost power.[9] Italian crime groups can mostly be found in the Ruhr district and in the west of Germany.

In December 2018, German police conducted an operation against the 'Ndrangheta in Germany and arrested 90 suspects. Among the suspected crimes were drugdealing and money laundering. 47 suspects were prosecuted.[10]

Outlaw motorcycle gangsEdit

OMCGs such as Hells Angels, Bandidos, Gremium and more recently, Satudarah, Night Wolves are active throughout Germany. While not all members of motorcycle clubs are criminal, some are reputed to be well known faces in the red-light districts and in the bouncer-scene who control a large chunk of the drug trade within bars and clubs.[9]

Albanian mafiaEdit

Albanian mafia families are active in some of the German urban centres, in particular Hamburg. They play an important role in the drug trade and the red light districts of the country.

"Ethnic Albanians" (as the German police officially calls them), who come into Germany typically from Albania or the Republic of Macedonia or Kosovo, have created for a very short time in the last decade of the century, a very powerful criminal network, says Manfred Quedzuweit, director of the Police Department for Fighting the Organized Crime in Hamburg. "Here, it could be heard that they are even more dangerous than Cosa Nostra. Albanian "banks" in Germany are a special story. They are used for the transfer of money from Germany, which amounts to a billion of D-marks a year.

One of these banks was discovered by accident by the Düsseldorf police while checking a travel agency "Eulinda" owned by the Albanians. "We haven't found a single travel related catalogue or brochure at the agency. The computers were nonfunctional, the printer had never been used. We found that "Eulinda" was a coverup for some other business", said high criminal counselor from Düsseldorf Rainer Bruckert. "Eventually we found out that "Eulinda" had already transferred $150 million to Kosovo—for 'humanitarian purposes'", says Bruckert. "Money was being transferred by the couriers in special waist belts with multiple pockets. So, in a single one-way trip, it was possible to carry up to six million D-marks."[citation needed]

BND reports state that Albanian Mafia activities are thoroughly spread throughout Germany. One mafia family in Hamburg, for instance, according to BND reports, has over "300 million euros in real estate portfolios". Further, the clan has considerable ties to police, judges and prosecutors in Hamburg.[11]

According to British criminal Colin Blaney in his autobiography 'Undesirables', Albanian criminals in Germany also frequently come to blows with British criminals who operate in the nation. Albanian people traffickers have been involved in confrontations with an English organized crime group known as the Wide Awake Firm, including an incident in which a member of the English group was stabbed through the hand.[12]

Russian mafiaEdit

Russian-speaking crime groups, in particular the Tambov gang are active in cities such as Düsseldorf. Especially money laundering, prostitution and extortion seem to be their activities of choice. Russian criminal activity doesn't only concern ethnic Russians but also Russian Jews which was evident with the arrest of Mikhail Rabo, a senior member of the Jewish community in Berlin and a high-ranking member of the Tambov gang.[13] Aside from the Russian groups, Georgian, Armenia and Chechen crime groups are active in Germany as well. Very often these gangs and the Russian groups are named together in one breath even when they have little to do with each other.

Another major form of Russian-speaking organized crime in Germany consists of so-called criminal Aussiedler families. Aussiedlers are ethnic Germans (also called Volga Germans) that were born in the former Soviet Union. While a lot of Aussiedlers adapted well and quickly mastered the German language, a lot of families held unto the traditional lifestyle they lived in Russia and surrounding states. This led to the formation of individual as well as clan-based groups of Aussiedlers involved in organized criminal activities such as drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, as well as extreme violence. Due to the large number of Aussiedlers they are seen as the major form of Russian organized crime in Germany.[14]

Serbian mafiaEdit

The Zemun clan is active in Germany in drug trafficking and prostitution. Members are largely ethnic Serbs, some of them former soldiers, but Montenegrins and Bosniaks from the Serbian region of Sandzak are part of the ex-Yugoslavian gangs as well.[13]

Turkish organized crimeEdit

Turkish crime groups which consist of ethnic Turks, Laz and Kurds from Turkey are active throughout Germany in extortion, weapon trafficking and drug trafficking. Often the gangs can be linked to political groups from their home country, such as the Grey Wolves for right-wing Turks and Dev Sol for left-wing Turks and Kurds.[13]

In 2014, the annual report into organized crime, presented in Berlin by interior minister Thomas de Maizière, showed that there were 57 Turkish and 4 Kurdish gangs in Germany. According to the report, alongside their more traditional fields of drug smuggling, gangs are also increasingly turning their attention to burglary, car theft and fraud. Ten percent of Germany's gang members were reported to be Turkish and according to statistics, the activity of Turkish gangs in Germany had decreased.[15][16]

In 2016, Die Welt and Bild reported that new Turkish motorbike gang, the Osmanien Germania is growing rapidly. The Hannoversche Allgemeine newspaper claimed that the Osmanien Germania is advancing more and more into red-light districts, which increases the likelihood of a bloody territorial battle with established gangs like the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the Mongols Motorcycle Club.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Middle Eastern crime clansEdit

Middle Eastern crime clans have become a major player in the underworld of Germany since the mass emigration of large Middle Eastern families, also called Großfamilie. Especially in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen Middle Eastern clans are highly active in the trafficking of heroin as well as being involved in the bouncer-scene. Middle Eastern crime families mostly have origins in Lebanon, Afghanistan (mainly in Hamburg) and Morocco (mostly in Frankfurt).

Middle Eastern crime clans come from different backgrounds, but the most numerous of them are the Lebanese Mhallami clans such as the Al-Zein Clan and the Miri clan among others.

Lebanese gangsEdit

Lebanese clans are active in drug trafficking, including Afghan heroin, cocaine, hashish and methamphetamine, weapon trafficking, extortion, prostitution and loan sharking. The main center of Lebanese organized crime in Germany is Berlin, with other clans spread in Bremen and Essen.[23][24]

Afghan gangsEdit

Afghan clans (often of Pashtun background) are active in Hamburg, a city with a large Afghan population. Like the Turkish and Turkish-Kurdish as well as Albanian gangs in the city, Afghan organized crime is active in hashish and heroin trafficking, extortion and prostitution.[25][26]

North AfricansEdit

Moroccan organized crime groups, often of Riffian descent, on the other hand have been reported in Frankfurt. Next to Serbian mafia and Balkan gangs, Moroccan organized crime has become one of the main factors in the Frankfurt underworld active in the heroin trade as well as other criminal activities.[27] As of 2018, there have been many incidents were North African asylum seekers mostly young males who have commited rapes and robberies.[28]

Vietnamese crime groupsEdit

Vietnamese groups active in human trafficking and cigarette smuggling have been reported in Germany. Chinese Triads on the other hand have been reported but don't seem to have substantial power in Germany.[9]


Transparency International’s Global corruption barometer 2013 reveals that political parties and businesses are the most corrupt institutions in Germany. The same report also indicates that petty corruption is not as uncommon as other European countries. The survey shows that 11% of the respondents claim to have been asked to pay a bribe at one point in their life and only few of those said that they had refused to pay the bribe.[29]

By nationalityEdit

Share of foreign nationals among 2017 crime suspects
Forgery of official documents
Rapes and sexual assaults
All types
Social benefit fraud
Murder and manslaughter
Share of population
Source: Wall Street Journal[30]

In 2018, the Wall Street Journal analysed German crime statistics for crime suspects and found that the foreigners, overall 12.8% of the population, make up a disproportionate share of crime suspects (34.7%), see horizontal bar chart.[30]

In 2016 31.4 percent of all convicted offenders were foreigners,[31] about 3 times higher than the percentage of foreigners living in Germany.[32]

According to the Huffington Post in February 2018 which quired each of the 15 state justice ministries, 12,300 Muslims are in prison and constitute about 20% of the total 65,000 prison population in Germany which constitutes an over-representation. The highest shares are in city states of Bremen (29%), Hamburg (28%) but the share is high also in large states such as Hessen (26%) Baden-Württemberg (26%). The share is lower in the former East Germany.[33]

By locationEdit

Crimes such as drug trafficking, weapon trafficking, extortion, prostitution, money laundering and contract killing are present in most less well-maintained areas of urban centres such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Duisburg, Cologne or Düsseldorf.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Crime, violence or vandalism in the area - EU-SILC survey". Eurostat. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Fler upplever brottslighet och vandalisering i sitt bostadsområde". Statistiska Centralbyrån (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e Crime rate drops to record low, Deutsche Welle. Retrieved June 2011
  4. ^ a b Rundschau, Frankfurter. "Kriminalstatistik: Häusliche Gewalt gegen Frauen nimmt zu". Frankfurter Rundschau (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  5. ^ agt. "UNODC: Global Study on Homicide". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b "BKA - Bundeslagebilder Organisierte Kriminalität - Bundeslagebild Organisierte Kriminalität 2017". (in German). p. 13. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  7. ^ "Kriminelle Clans versuchen gezielt Flüchtlinge zu rekrutieren". Focus Online. 10 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  8. ^ Behrendt, Michael (10 April 2016). "Berlin Underworld is lost to the Arab clans - Berlins Unterwelt ist verloren an die arabischen Clans". Retrieved 12 April 2016. Berlin hat, neben Bremen, große Probleme mit kriminellen arabischen Großfamilien. Laut Behörden gibt es in Berlin 15 bis 20 Großfamilien, von denen sieben bis neun kriminell auffällig sind.
  9. ^ a b c "Kriminalität: Geheim und unsichtbar - Welt - Tagesspiegel". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  10. ^ Online, FOCUS. "NRW-Innnenmnister Reul über kriminelle Clans: Wir lassen sie einfach nicht in Ruhe". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  11. ^ Klaus Lohmann, Schleswig-Holstein am Sonntag (15 May 2012). "Mörderischer Norden: Mafia-Banden regieren den Kiez in Hamburg -". shz. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  12. ^ Blaney, Colin (2014). Undesirables. John Blake. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-1782198970.
  13. ^ a b c Von Horst Kuhnes (20 August 2007). "Organisierte Kriminalität". Westdeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Prozess in Augsburg: So herrscht die Russen-Mafia im Gefängnis - Nachrichten Bayern". Augsburger Allgemeine. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Organisierte Kriminalität". Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Organized crime on the rise in Germany". 2 October 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Working Out with a Notorious German Biker Gang". Vice. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Osmanen drängen ins Rotlichtmilieu und fordern Rockerclubs heraus – HAZ". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Rockergruppe Osmanen Germania wächst rasant". Welt Online. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  20. ^ Turek, Zlatan Alihodzic und Michael. "Polizeieinsatz in mehreren Städten gegen "Osmanen Germania"". WAZ. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  21. ^ Frigelj, Kristian (16 February 2016). ""Wir kommen und übernehmen das ganze Land"". Welt Online. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Warum sehe ich nicht". Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Kriminalität: Sturz des "Präsidenten"". Focus Online. 1 May 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  24. ^ Per Hinrichs (21 October 2013). "Miri-Clan: Eine Familie, tief verstrickt ins Verbrechen". Die Welt. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Schutzgeld-Gang plante Übernahme des Lokstedter Bordells: Machtkampf im Milieu: Sie wollten alles". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Blutige Afghanen-Fehde: Bandenkrieg in Hamburg wegen Nacktfotos auf Facebook". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  27. ^ Max Schneider und Jürgen Mahnke (Fotos). "Rache geschworen: Droht ein Drogenkrieg im Bahnhofsviertel?". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Global Corruption Barometer 2013". Transparency International. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  30. ^ a b Pancevski, Bojan (2018-10-15). "An Ice-Cream Truck Slaying, Party Drugs and Real-Estate Kings: Ethnic Clans Clash in Berlin's Underworld". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  31. ^ "Strafverfolgung - Ausländische Verurteilte 2016". DESTATIS.
  32. ^ "Wie viele Ausländer leben in Deutschland?". Mediendienst Intergration.
  33. ^ "Allahs Kinder hinter Gittern: Warum in deutschen Gefängnissen so viele Muslime sitzen". HuffPost Deutschland (in German). 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-12-01.