Bad Godesberg recorded a sharp increase in pickpocketing in 2021, which the police attribute, among other things, to displacement effects. The answer is presence and control measures.
The crime statistics for Bad Godesberg show both light and shade. The numbers have risen in many areas of crime. With a total of 5,589 recorded cases, there is an increase of 7.4 percent compared to 2020, which also puts it well above the five-year average. Thefts from cars and pickpocketing make up a large part of the increase. The police want to respond with stronger controls and presence measures.
On 9 July 2021, the police flexed their muscles. Around 150 police officers checked suspected drug dealers, gun owners and the red-light district in Bonn and the region. In addition to the Tannenbusch district and Bonn's city centre including the Hofgarten, the focus was also on Bad Godesberg's Kurpark. Even then, the police counted Bonn's southernmost district as a focal point. "By means of control and presence measures, we keep an eye on the so-called hotspots, where the city centre of Bonn and Bad Godesberg play a role in particular," says police chief Frank Hoever. This concept will continue to be pursued in 2022 and will respond to complaints from citizens.
It is difficult to say to what extent the measures are having an effect. Street crime (+13 percent), simple thefts (+16.8 percent) and also assaults (+12.2 percent) have risen sharply in Bad Godesberg. As in the entire city area, thefts to or from motor vehicles have also increased, but in Godesberg they have risen by almost 60 percent, compared to 35 percent in the entire city area. "Indirect acquisitive crime will be a major driver of case numbers here," says crime director Ralf van Uden. In two-thirds, objects are stolen from cars, in one-third things on vehicles, such as licence plates.
Pickpocketing on the rise
Pickpocketing also falls off the grid. "In the state, we have a significant decrease of 16 percent, in Bonn a corresponding increase," says Hoever. In Bad Godesberg there were 194 offences, which is 107 more (+123 percent). "Incidentally, we also saw this in connection with the Christmas markets. We had numbers in Bonn that tended to go down, and in Godesberg we had increases," says Hoever. According to the investigators, it was mainly groups of perpetrators who were travelling supra-regionally. "We are seeing a certain amount of predatory competition from the direction of Cologne," says Hoever. That is why the camera observation was deliberately set up on Poststraße, to make it clear that potential perpetrators arriving via the station were in view. In Bad Godesberg, it was temporarily located near the St. Nicholas market.
Even though there were more assaults, the police were at least able to track down a large number of the perpetrators and improve the clearance rate: Nine out of ten are caught. Nevertheless, there is a tendency towards violence. With 189 dangerous and serious bodily injuries, the increase was around 30 percent. The five-year average is 129 offences. It should be noted, however, that there were only eight cases of dangerous and grievous bodily harm in public spaces. The majority occurred in private spaces (189 offences, +30.3 percent), which includes domestic violence in particular.
As everywhere in Bonn, housebreakings have decreased thanks to vigilant neighbours, constant awareness campaigns and home offices, in Bad Godesberg by 36.9 percent to 195 cases. Damage to property, which includes graffiti, for example, also decreased by 14.3 percent to 530 offences. There were also fewer burglaries in shops, with 13, only about half as many as in 2020.
(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach; Translation: Mareike Graepel)