Politically motivated crime hits record high

Politically motivated crime hits record high
Photo: DPA
A huge jump in left-wing extremist and anarchist crime has reportedly sent the number of politically motivated offences in Germany soaring to its highest level since records began.

Citing an Interior Ministry report, daily Bild reported on Tuesday there were 33,917 politically motivated crimes committed in 2009.

Although offences committed by right-wing extremists are twice as common as those committed by the left, it is a massive jump in left-wing crime that is responsible for the new peak.

The number of left-wing extremist crimes climbed 39.4 percent to 9,375. Among those were 1,822 violent offences – a rise of 53.4 percent.

Crimes by the far right, meanwhile, fell by 4.7 percent compared with 2008, totalling 19,468. Assault is a particularly common far-right crime, the report said.

Towards the end of last year, there was a spate of far-left attacks, including notorious incidents in which perpetrators, threw Molotov cocktails, paint bombs and cobblestones at Berlin’s Treptow district Federal Criminal Police (BKA) office. Around the same time, offices for the centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats were also vandalised with anti-war graffiti.

And in Hamburg, about 10 masked perpetrators attacked a police precinct in the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood, setting a police cruiser alight, damaging other police cars and breaking windows with stones.

At the time, the head of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, branded the attacks a “declaration of war.”

In January, Bild reported that preliminary statistics from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), indicated a drop in right-wing violent crime for the first time in six years.

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