In no other federal state do so many investigations against criminal family clans as in North Rhine-Westphalia. This emerges from a nationwide situation picture of clan crime, which was first created by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). According to this, last year, 22 of the total of 45 trials against criminal clans - and thus almost half - were located in the most densely populated federal state. Investigators in Bavaria looked after seven cases that were directed against large families. Five investigations involved suspects in Berlin. Among the nationwide 654 suspects in this area, the Lebanese were the largest group with 152 suspects.

Organized crime in general includes many areas - from human trafficking or drug trafficking to white collar crime, shoplifting and burglary that are deliberately perpetrated by groups. Overall, the number of investigations against organized crime groups last year fell from 572 to 535, according to the annual report presented by the Federal Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday. The number of recorded suspects also fell in 2018 compared to the previous year - from around 8,300 to just under 6,500.

Among the 2018 registered suspects have about 31 percent of German citizenship, 66 percent are non-German, it says in the report. For the rest, the question of citizenship is unclear. Among the foreigners, the Turks dominated with 714 suspects and Polish citizens (404 suspects). An "above-average escalation and violence preparedness" observed the BKA 2018 with criminal gangs, which are dominated by Chechens.

Investigations have become more complex

For the security authorities, however, the drop in procedures is only very good news. The BKA explained that the investigations had become more complex and more complex - also because many perpetrators rely on encrypted communication. While the number of procedures in the red-light district in 2018 fell sharply, there was a slight increase in the investigation of smuggling gangs.

Of the 535 investigations, more than one third - namely 201 cases - has to do with drug-related crime, it goes on to say. In 93 preliminary investigations it had gone to property offenses, whereby the emphasis again lay with car thefts. Burglary offenses had continued to decline. A further 55 investigations were assigned to crime in economic life; this is particularly about frauds to the detriment of older people.

In the Federal Government, above all, the Union is pushing for stricter action against organized crime - and in particular against the activities of criminal family clans.