Dhe attack on a transsexual person on the Zeil is just the latest act to take place on the shopping street, but not the only one. For years, the Zeil has been perceived by many as a focal point, at least in the evening and at night. The police themselves classified them as such when they dared to venture three years ago to have a video surveillance camera installed at the Brockhausbrunnen. Now that the Zeil is perceived by many more than ever as a no-go area in the evening, the police say that the Zeil is no longer a focal point. At most a “meeting place for young people who are increasingly staying there in the evening and at night”.
The police based this statement mainly on the development of the number of cases, which according to a spokesman had declined last year. For the Zeil itself, however, the authority does not disclose any figures, at most “for the inner-city area”, which means the Zeil, the Hauptwache and the Konstablerwache. There the number of offenses such as assault, sexual assault, robbery and pickpocketing for the year 2019 is “in the middle three-digit range”, as the authority announced. The figures for 2020 are not yet published. The spokesman emphasized: “Of course we have an eye on crime there.” The police justified why there are no separate numbers for the Zeil by stating that they “generally do not publish any numbers for individual streets”. In addition, “a representation for a period of several years cannot be realized for various reasons”.
This is surprising, because in the past the police have published the number of cases of individual crime hotspots – especially when they thought they would benefit, for example in connection with the planned video surveillance in the station district. The police spoke of 1,100 crimes for the hotspot Taunus- / Elbestraße. Crime figures were also known for Allerheiligenstrasse at that time.
Also attacks on the police
Whatever the long-term comparison of the numbers on the Zeil, they are not alone in any case when it comes to the question of whether a place is developing into a no-go area. The police also do not decide whether certain areas of the city are deliberately avoided because passers-by there do not feel safe or at least uncomfortable. This impression is only established with the citizen.
For the Zeil, it is true that for several years it has increasingly developed into a meeting place for teenagers and young adults – and with a considerable potential for aggression. The police themselves have been victims of such “mobs” several times, most recently at the beginning of November, when several hundred people gathered on the shopping street in the evening and the police officers threw stones, bottles and eggs at them. There had also been riots the night before when a police patrol tried to settle a dispute between two men. The police are only officially cautious about what kind of men it is. According to reports, there is more open discussion within the authority that it is often young people and adolescents with a migration background.
The phenomenon that so-called influencers or youtubers are often followed and that larger gatherings result from this also plays an increasing role. But offenses that arise independently of such group dynamics also occur on the Zeil. In addition to pickpockets, these are primarily robberies. At the beginning of this year, for example, a woman on the corner of Zeil and Konstablerwache was attacked in the middle of the day at a pharmacy and seriously injured when she was just coming from the weekly market.