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Which German city has the best police force?

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Photo: DPA
14:41 CEST+02:00
Munich and Frankfurt have the most effective police forces of the major German cities, figures released on Wednesday show. But crime in the Bavarian capital rose last year.

Munich not only has the lowest crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants of any German city, but also the highest percentage of crimes solved, with a clearance rate of 62.5 percent, national crime figures for 2013 show.

Last year, crime in the Bavarian capital increased by four percent on 2012 to 102,667 recorded incidents, but the percent of crimes solved rate also rose by two percent, making Munich’s police the most effective of the city forces. 

In Berlin crime was up 1.6 percent to more than 500,000 recorded incidents in 2013. The city ranked poorly with Cologne and Hamburg for the percentage of crimes solved.

Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main are the only two cities featured in our table where crime fell.

Safer on the streets than online?

Numbers of violent crimes like muggings and sexual assaults took a healthy downturn in 2013, but credit card and data theft and fraud grew.

While your chances of being coercively relieved of your valuables fell, last year saw a five percent increase in theft of non-cash means of payment. The good news in personal finance security, though, is that actual bank account and payment transfer fraud dropped by more than a fifth compared to 2012.

Computer-related crimes like sabotage or illegal acquisition and circulation of data jumped as much as 17 percent. This was largely because computer users were "too careless with their data and information," Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told Bild newspaper.

But amid growing worldwide concern about unauthorized surveillance and data interception, authorities said such instances in Germany were down five percent last year.

The publication of the figures coincided with the announcement by Germany's top prosecutor of a criminal investigation into alleged snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. 

Since the figures were released, attention has mainly focused on the increase in home burglaries, with a 15-year high of almost 150,000 break-ins of which police solved only 15.5 percent.

Politicians partly blamed the spike on sprees by foreign crime rings operating from outside Germany.

"We are dealing with gangs operating internationally which we have to fight at the national level," de Maizière said, pledging to introduce pilot countermeasures in border regions.

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Planned tougher controls and the ensuing debate may also reflect one of the sharpest rises in the 2013 figures - a leap of almost a quarter in numbers of criminal violations of residency and asylum procedures and EU regulations on freedom of movement, including almost 30 percent more cases of illegal entry into the country.

If criminals are becoming more "international" as claimed, they are now also older on average. The number of crimes committed by children under the age 14 fell by eight percent last year, with a five per cent drop in the 14-18 year age bracket.

Crimes involving narcotics rose seven percent, while gun crimes dropped almost four percent.   

What are your experiences of the police in Germany? Leave your comments below.

SEE ALSO: Germany's safest and most dangerous cities

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