Rocker crime

Project period

1.1.2017 – 31.12.2019

Project staff

Bettina Zietlow (project manager)

Ina Klopp (research assistant)

Philipp Müller (research assistant)



Project description

The rocker scene has grown considerably in Germany since the turn of the millennium. In Germany the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (MC), the Bandidos MC, the Panel MC and the Outlaws MC are the leading rocker groups. Especially between Hells Angels and Bandidos developed a nationwide enduring hostility. Currently at least two other rocker-like groupings, Satudarah MC (in Europe) and the Ottomans Germania, are in the field. With the strong increase in the numbers of rocker clubs and increased competition, there is also a marked increase in the number of rocker groups and organized crime. Because of the power and district battles, the feeling of security in the population is also considerably shaken.

Since 1 January 2017 KFN has been researching the topic “rocker crime” within the framework of the research project with the following aims:

– Comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon

– Analysis of police and legal measures

– Development of preventive approaches.

The focus is on the Rockerclubs themselves, the victims of rocket criminality, the difficulties in the prosecution and the effectiveness of club bans. The results of the research will help to make the work of the police and the judiciary even more effective against this specific form of organized crime. The research project offers the opportunity to show new approaches to prevention at the national and international level and to sensitize policy and the public to this area of ​​crime. The project is funded by the European Union funds for internal security.

Within the study national and international expert interviews are conducted. In addition, an analysis of criminal proceedings as well as all banning procedures within Germany is carried out. Qualitative surveys of victims and other stakeholders are also conducted. Finally, all results are brought together and discussed in an expert workshop with national and international actors.

Project related publications

Ulrich, I. (2022). Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Eine empirische Untersuchung zur polizeilichen und justiziellen Vorgehensweise gegen Mitglieder von Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zur kriminologischen Forschung: Vol. 52. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Müller, P., Ulrich, I. & Zietlow, B. (2022): „Rockerkriminalität“: Empirische und rechtliche Einordnung. (KFN-Forschungsberichte Nr. 166). Hannover: KFN.