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Berlin: Crime Decreases in Corona Crisis

If Corona has any positive effect, it is the fact that crime in Berlin has decreased substantially. Hardly any cars are being stolen anymore.

The German capital is the largest city in Germany. Crime is usually big in Berlin. But it looks like the Corona crisis is changing the situation. According to the Berlin Police Department, crime has generally decreased by 25 percent since the crisis began.

Less Violence in Berlin

Leaving a brand new 7-series BMW on Karl Marx Strasse with a running engine and open doors is still not a good idea, but car theft has slumped by 76.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Pickpocketing receded by 61 percent. There are only half as many burglaries now than there were in 2019.

There is less violence as well. For instance, the number of sexual offenses has decreased by 40 percent. Politicians and the police had feared domestic abuse might increase a lot. At this stage, it does not look like it did.

Decrease in Pickpocketing

Some of these developments can probably be explained. Since less people drive, valuable vehicles might be parked in garages that are not accessible that easily. Because of the Coronavirus, car theft mafia members might be waiting for the crisis to end, like everyone else.

What burglaries are concerned, they obviously do not happen as often while people are at home. Now that hardly anyone is on the street or maxing out their credit cards in shopping malls, who is going to get robbed?

Dominant Behavior

But according to Berlin’s Police Chief Barbara Slowik, some kinds of crimes have increased in the Corona crisis, namely burglary in basements and arson. In an interview conducted by RBB television, Slowik said arsonists seemed to have more opportunity now.

Barbara Slowik is Berlin’s Police Chief. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

She also stated there were more illegal races on the streets of Berlin. In many cases, members of Arab clans are involved. Because of far more serious crimes committed by clans, the Berlin Police Department has recently tripled its presence in this area. This was about taking action against “dominant behavior and crime”, Barbara Slowik stated.

‘Parent Scam’

In at least one way, criminals seem to be adapting to the Corona crisis. The ‘grandparent scam’ has become a ‘parent scam’. Criminals call elderly people who have not seen their children in a while because they are quarantined during the crisis. They tell them their child had been taken to a hospital and badly needed money for the treatment.

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