In North Rhine-Westphalia, the number of crimes increased again in 2023, although not as much as in the previous year. According to crime statistics presented on Wednesday by Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU), the police registered a total of 1.4 million crimes last year. This corresponds to an increase of 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. The increase in crimes in the most populous federal state was more moderate than in many other countries, said Reul. The clearance rate has also climbed to 54.2 percent, the best value in 60 years.

Just over a third of the 484,642 suspects in 2023 did not have a German passport. That is 10.4 percent more than in the previous year. “Non-Germans are significantly overrepresented. And that applies to almost all crimes. That inevitably means: We have to talk about foreign crime,” said Reul. “I prefer to name things as they are rather than sit through them. This is feeding the wrong people.”

Reul said the fact that violent crime has increased by 21 percent in a ten-year comparison also gives him pause. “Something has clearly changed. Conflicts are increasingly ending in violence.” He is also concerned about developments in child and juvenile crime. It increased by 10.8 percent to 95,300 cases. Reul pointed out that young people are becoming numb to violent videos. “We need to take the term 'media literacy' more seriously. We also have to take the word 'education' more seriously, understand it as a duty and task, fathers and mothers have to get more involved.”

Reul attributed the fact that the latest statistics once again show more cases of child sexual abuse – an increase of 22.6 percent to 5,065 offenses – to the focus he pushed. “Because we look for more, we find more,” said Reul. The information that comes from overseas is very important. “But I want us to be able to do more ourselves. Technically we can do a lot, but legally we can do little – the keyword is data retention.”

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