Police Commissioner Frank Hoever No entrenched radical structures in Bonn
Bonn · Police Commissioner Frank Hoever considers the situation of right-wing and left-wing extremist as well as religiously motivated crime in Bonn and the surrounding area to be "relatively calm" at present. He explained this at the Bonn Integration Council.
According to police chief Frank Hoever, there are currently no findings of right-wing extremist groups in Bonn or in the districts of Euskirchen and Rhein-Sieg. There are no gatherings with a purely right-wing extremist connection, no regular meeting places of persons of the "right-wing spectrum" and no endangered persons. This was Hoever's presentation on Tuesday evening at the eagerly awaited meeting of the Integration Council. However, the police had an intensive right-wing offender in mind, who had also committed non-politically motivated crimes. "However, he has not come to light in the recent past." Hoever said he could report the same about the left-wing extremist scene in Bonn, which is also manageable. In the past years, the left-wing extremists, if they did take part, did so peacefully, without masking and without violence.
The largest share of political crimes is right-wing motivated
Hoever said that he saw right-wing extremism as "currently our biggest problem in the area of politically motivated crime", also against the background of the statistics just published by the Federal Criminal Police Office (the GA reported yesterday). According to these statistics, in 2021, as in the previous year, the largest share of politically motivated crimes nationwide was right-wing motivated.
There is no doubt that there are also people with right-wing extremist tendencies in Bonn and the surrounding area, some of whom were involved in the first "Querdenker" demonstrations four weeks ago, said Hoever. "But we keep a close eye on them and take consistent action against them with the necessary legal instruments." The police also make sure that they have no weapons in their hands. They are highly sensitised, he said. "And I can assure you that we also keep a very close eye on our own ranks," the police chief emphasised. Overall, the situation in Bonn was therefore "relatively calm", and he hoped it would stay that way. "Fortunately, we do not have any radically consolidated structures.“
Dangerous persons are "well under control"
Of course, every crime is one act too many, he stressed, recalling incidents such as the one in October 2020, when a pair of perpetrators attacked two grieving Muslim women at the Islamic burial ground of the North Cemetery. However, the number of cases of politically motivated right-wing crimes in Bonn in 2021, as well as left-wing crimes, was comparatively low: "in the middle two-digit range in each case," the police chief calculated. In the case of politically motivated crime that follows a religious ideology, for example in the Islamist Salafist scene, no crimes have been registered locally in the past two years, Hoever reported. Here, the police have "a good grip" on the 150 people who are currently part of the scene, including dangerous persons. The contact points of these persons, whom they "accompany", are mosque associations.
In the case of supporters of foreign ideologies, such as the Turkish "Grey Wolves", Hoever explained that last year there were acts in the lower two-digit range in the Bonn area. According to the guidelines of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, he is generally not allowed to give more precise figures. "However, in the interest of transparency, I have decided to give you an impression of the dimensions," Hoever told the Integration Council, with whom he hoped for "an objective and constructive exchange".
Members of the Integration Council express criticism
The members did not have to wait long for this. Irina Volfson (CDU) appealed to Hoever to press ahead with the investigation into the stone-throwing at the Bonn synagogue in May 2021. Jürgen Repschläger was not satisfied with Hoever's remarks on right-wing extremist forces in Bonn. "I am shocked that you do not report on the ‚Identitarians‘ in Bonn and do not point out their regular meeting places," Repschläger said. The association is observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Hoever then encouraged them to pass on any observations to the Bonn police. And he then went on to address the topic of Reichsbürger. There are about 50 of these "contaminated" people in the Bonn area, but so far they have not come to the attention of the police.
Moussa Archaki, DiverCityBonn, expressed his satisfaction that the police chief, who has been in office since 2020, was finally able to answer questions in the Integration Council through his motions. Hoever conceded that his office had "missed" this deadline in 2021. Archaki then suggested that the reporting should be continued every year in the Integration Council. Other speakers agreed. Hoever agreed. The fight against politically motivated crime is an important focus of his office's work, he summed up. "The investigations are prioritised by our specialised service and conducted with a high degree of sensitivity." Because the top priority, he said, was to ensure the safety of all citizens of Bonn.
(Original text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu; Translation: Mareike Graepel)