Burglary rate surges
Not known as a hotbed for burglary, Germany suffered a jump of nearly 7 percent in break-ins last year, according to crime statistics cited by daily Die Welt on Tuesday.
The eastern state of Saxony saw the greatest increase in crime, with break-ins surging 21.2 percent.
“The absolute focus is the city of Leipzig. Almost half of all apartment break-ins in Saxony took place there,” Saxon Interior Minister Markus Ulbig told the paper.
The central state of Hesse saw the next greatest increase in burglaries last year (16.3 percent), followed by Schleswig-Holstein (13.7 percent) and Brandenburg (11.7 percent).
The northern city-state of Bremen actually saw the number of break-ins drop by 15.4 percent. Nevertheless, it remained nationwide leader in burglary rates. The port city experienced 43.6 break-ins per 10,000 residents, ahead of Hamburg (42.3) and nearly double Berlin (25.3).
Of the 123,000 registered burglaries nationwide, police managed to solve only 16 percent of cases.
Bremen’s Interior Minister Ulrich Mäurer recommended people mark their valuables with “artificial DNA” to enable the authorities to track their stolen goods.
“If citizens also make that visible outside, the number of break-ins drops noticeably,” he told Die Welt.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich will present the full crime statistics on Friday in Berlin.