Germany: The crime rate continues to fall but insecurity is on the increase

Reichstag BerlinPolice statistics[1] and a crime survey have more or less simultaneously been published at a federal level[2]. It is noteworthy that while there has been a 3.6% decrease in crime (350,000 fewer than the previous year), people who feel either a little or very insecure has risen from 17.3% in 2012 (the previous year’s federal crime survey) to 21.5%. The temporal difference between the two previous data does not explain these differences, as crime has been falling moderately but constantly over recent years (since 2012 the number has gone down by half a million cases). Possibly one of the factors that underlie this decrease in subjective security is related to the presence of terrorism (which makes 20% of the population feel insecure) that did not appear in the previous review in 2012. This increase in insecurity is reflected in a similar way in the vast majority of Länder.

The areas that most affect the feeling of security of those interviewed are burglaries (24% are afraid of suffering this crime), theft with violence (20.9%) and sexual violence (22.2 % of women).

Crimes against people see a decrease of 3.9%. Although homicide and its variants see an increase of roughly 4 % and crimes involving bodily harm show a very slight increase, the more significant reduction in crimes against sexual freedom more than compensates (a fall of over 10%). What is known as “street crime” (Straβenkriminalitat), which consists of the largest group of crimes sees of a decrease of 8%. Economic crime in general (theft in general, of bicycles, vehicles and trucks, motorbikes). Even the most feared burglaries see a fall of 16.3 %, thanks to the range of methodologies used to prevent them (including Predictive Policing). Even swindling and fraud have gone down slightly.

The rate of reporting crime is between 35 and 40%, with the exception of cases of Phishing and Pharming that reflect much lower levels of crimes being reported (approximately 10%). Among the reasons given for reporting a crime are, first of all, an obligation (moral) to report any crime, and a wish for an incident not to happen again or for the culprit to be punished.

The number of people arrested has gone down by 2.9 in comparison with the previous year (2,051,266 in 2017), of which 65.46 % have German nationality, and 34.53 % are foreigners.

[1] Vid.

[2] Vid.


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