Crime: A good 185,000 open arrest warrants in Germany

A good 185,000 open arrest warrants in Germany

A surveillance camera stands behind a barbed wire fence at the Neumünster correctional facility. Photo: Frank Molter/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The police databases are full to bursting. Arrest warrants are being used to search for tens of thousands of suspected perpetrators, often for minor offences. But the numbers have increased overall.

The number of open arrest warrants has increased overall and also in the area of ​​politically motivated crime (PMK).

At the end of March, the police search computers stored 185,490 arrest warrants, 8,491 from the political sector, according to a response from the Federal Ministry of the Interior to a request from the AfD parliamentary group, which the German Press Agency has received. As of the last reporting date at the end of September 2021, there were fewer outstanding arrest warrants overall (182,707) and fewer in the area of ​​politically motivated crime (8224). The PMK data are collected every six months.

The figures include both German and international arrest warrants. It is about a search request either because of specific crimes, because of the execution of a sentence or because of a planned deportation.

It is usually theft, fraud or drugs

About 45 percent of outstanding arrest warrants involve crimes related to theft, fraud or drugs. Crimes such as arson, assault, robbery or extortion account for a total of around 13 percent. 12,712 outstanding arrest warrants (6.9 percent) relate to serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence, sexual offences, human trafficking or deprivation of liberty. There are also crimes against public order (6.9 percent), in road traffic (5.4), violations of the Residence Act (5.4) and other offenses.

The Ministry points out that the number of arrest warrants cannot be equated with the number of persons wanted, since one person can also have several arrest warrants. In addition, arrest warrants against extremists do not always have to be about politically motivated acts. A criminal from this spectrum can also be wanted for a drug offense, for example.

In the area of ​​politically motivated crime, the numbers have fallen in the “right” (752 open arrest warrants, previously 788) and “left” (117, previously 128) categories. However, the majority of searches related to suspected Islamists as of the reporting date: With 6,880 search requests, there were almost 300 more than on the last reporting date in September 2021 (6,583).

More international arrest warrants

The Interior Ministry justifies the increase with an increased number of international arrest warrants. “These are advertisements from non-German nationals who, for the most part, have (allegedly) participated in combat operations in jihad areas.” You are not in Germany, or there is no evidence of a stay in Germany, writes the ministry.

According to the information, a total of 133 so-called threats were sought by arrest warrant at the end of March. These are people who are believed to be capable of serious, politically motivated acts of violence up to and including terrorist attacks (September 2021: 143). Of these, 124 were assigned to Islamism (September: 132), 7 to “foreign ideology” (8), 1 to the right (2) and 1 to the left (1).

The parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, Stephan Brandner, called for “a targeted and ruthless action against Islamists”. One must stop defining the fight against right-wing extremism as the only goal.


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