Mhr and more modern video surveillance at crime hotspots as well as a night-time gun ban zone in the station district: Police President Stefan Müller addressed these demands to the Roman coalition on Friday when the crime statistics were presented.
The reason for this is the increase in street crime in the past year. While criminal offenses rose by a total of 13.1 percent to 109,047 cases and thus remained slightly below the figures for the pre-Corona year 2019, the number of dangerous and serious physical injuries in public spaces increased to 1787 acts – the highest value in ten years.
The words “concern” and “challenge” were repeated several times at the police headquarters during the presentation of the statistics, because last year the number of street robberies was 713, the highest since 2013. Around 50 percent of the robbery offenses in the city in 2022 were committed in the station district. There were almost 10,000 crimes in an area of around one square kilometer last year. That is around 2000 more than in 2021, only in 2017 was there even more in a ten-year comparison.
The number of physical injuries there rose by 30 percent to 1079, pickpocketing has more than doubled compared to 2021 with 863 cases, and in the case of street robbery, the investigators counted 342 cases, a good 65 percent more offenses in the station district than in the previous year. At the same time, the neighborhood’s crime detection rate has fallen from 63.1 percent in 2021 to 55.6 percent last year.
“We are reacting by deploying up to eight patrols in this area at the same time,” said Müller, adding: “There is no other city in Hesse that has that.” In his estimation, the massive increase in crime is also due to the fact that three different milieus (drug scene, red light and partygoers) exist and meet.
It is therefore important that knives, pepper sprays and pepper pistols are taken away from people at an early stage so that they cannot be used later. “I still advocate the establishment of a gun ban zone in this area,” said Müller. The number of gun offenses alone rose by almost 40 percent to 334 cases last year. “People are peppered in the face, are in a fog, fall to the ground and are then robbed,” said the police chief, describing the perpetrators’ approach.
Müller made it clear that a gun ban zone and more video surveillance were essential for him to curb street crime. “We’re pumping police in to pacify the area. That’s the completely wrong approach,” said Müller. Only cooperation with the city can be successful. He referred to the decision taken by city councilors in 2018 to install more video cameras. This must be done quickly, he demanded in view of the European Football Championship next year. Five games will be played in Frankfurt.
According to Müller, for example, there is currently no surveillance at the Konstablerwache because the cameras have been defective since 2022. “It would help us tremendously in fighting queer-phobia crimes there,” he said. According to statistics, the number of crimes against members of the LGBTIQ community increased sharply. The police recorded 38 cases last year. In 2021 there were 16 offenses such as bodily harm, insult and incitement to hatred. “We have zero tolerance for these crimes,” the President said.
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