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Police crime statistics 2023: Slight increase in case numbers - best clearance rate in over 60 years
Minister Reul: Our police officers do the best investigative work day after day
Ministry of the Interior of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Ministry of the Interior NRW

On Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Interior Minister Herbert Reul presented the police crime statistics for 2023. Last year, the North Rhine-Westphalia police recorded a total of 1.4 million crimes (1,412,807). This is a slight increase of 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. 54.2 percent of all cases were solved. This is the best clearance rate since 1962. Increases were recorded in property crimes and in the area of violent crime. Particularly striking: the number of underage suspects has risen. Suspects without a German passport also appeared more often in 2023 than in previous years.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "With a moderate increase of 3.4 percent in the number of cases, North Rhine-Westphalia is doing well as the most populous state in Germany. War and crises, inflation and rising prices as well as migration are partly responsible for the increase in crime. But our police are keeping pace. The best crime clearance rate we have had for over 60 years is proof of the best police work in North Rhine-Westphalia. Our police officers do the best investigative work day after day."

The number of suspects rose by 3.9 percent to 484,642 (excluding immigration offenses). Of these, 21,652 were under 14 years old. 46,084 were juveniles. A third (34.9 percent) of the suspects did not have a German passport (169,215).

4.7 percent of the total number of suspects (with immigration law violations) made multiple police appearances (23,610). Around 40 percent of multiple offenders were non-German (9,538).

The North Rhine-Westphalia police have noticed a significant increase in property crimes. Around 105,300 shopliftings were registered. This is an increase of 24.9 percent compared to the previous year (+20,987). This means that retailers in North Rhine-Westphalia suffered losses of at least 13 million euros in 2023. Almost 39,500 pickpocketing incidents were reported. That is an increase of 5.9 percent. Over 27,000 domestic burglaries were registered in 2023. This is an increase of 15 percent on the previous year. In 47 percent of cases, it was only attempted. The highest number of domestic burglaries was recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2015 with 62,362 cases.

In the area of violent crime, the figures rose by seven percent (55,855). In a ten-year comparison, this is an increase of 21 percent. 40.7 percent of the suspects identified in the area of violent crime did not have a German passport. A total of 154 homicides were recorded. There were 114 attempts. 42 people were killed. At around 12,600 cases, 12 percent more robberies were recorded than in the previous year. The number of assaults rose by 4.4 percent to around 148,600 cases.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "War and crises stir things up. But we must not allow this to infect us. These figures always bear witness to the state of our society. Violence must not replace decency and respect for one another. I hope that we will be more human again."

In the area of child and youth crime, the number of suspects has risen. Suspected children were identified in 22,496 cases (+7.4 percent). Around 48,000 suspected juveniles were recorded in the statistics. This is an increase of 6.1% compared to 2022. Almost 3,300 suspected children were recorded in the area of violent crime (+15.3%); there were around 8,200 suspected juveniles (+9.2%).

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "Our young people have suffered considerably under coronavirus. Social media also contributes to our children seeing unfiltered violence at an early age. We need to take the term 'media literacy' more seriously. And parents need to get more involved. Parenting is both a task and a duty. We must not allow our children to grow up in violence. We must take up the fight against child and youth crime as a whole society - for our children."

The North Rhine-Westphalia police reported 60,268 cases of domestic violence (+2.8%). In 2023, 32,463 sexual offenses were recorded (+3 percent). 80 percent of the crimes were solved.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "This is just the tip of the iceberg. Show them. Have the courage. Our police take every tip seriously."

A total of 5,065 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded. 10,728 cases of child pornography were included in the initial statistics. Of these, 9,101 were solved. Of the 8,900 suspects, almost 1,500 were under the age of 14.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "The police are continuing to work hard and dig deeper. The information we also receive from other countries is worth its weight in gold. We can do a lot technically. But I also want us to be able to do more legally ourselves. Keyword: data retention. At the same time, we need to relieve the burden on the officers who do this back-breaking job every day. Artificial intelligence can help to evaluate the flood of images more quickly and successfully investigate them faster."

With 73,917 registered cases, drug offenses under the Narcotics Act increased by 4.8 percent. In a ten-year comparison, this corresponds to an increase of 22.5 percent. Cannabis was involved in 63 percent of the registered cases (46,586). In 2023, 872 people died in North Rhine-Westphalia as a result of drug use. This is 169 more deaths than in the previous year.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "The facts speak for themselves. The legalization of cannabis is a homemade loss of control. Headless and haphazard policies are being made on the backs of the authorities. Berlin should solve problems, not create new ones."

In 2023, exactly 9,922 cases (+3.3%) were attributed to the offense "Resistance and assault against/on state authority". In a ten-year comparison, this is an increase of 56.3%.

In the area of cybercrime, the number of recorded cases has continued to rise. Around 36,800 cases were registered in which the perpetrators were located abroad. Around 21,000 cases were recorded in which the crimes were committed by suspects in Germany.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "Criminal energy on the internet is also on the rise. It doesn't always have to be the big cyber attack in East Westphalia, it can also happen on your computer at home. Secure your systems. Make your passwords strong. Be just as vigilant online as you are offline."

Fraud crimes against older people fell by 15.8 percent. The police in North Rhine-Westphalia recorded 2,238 crimes committed in the course of so-called "grandchildren scams", for example.

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