German home burgled every four minutes
Burglaries rose sharply last year, according to new figures seen by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. Daytime break-ins in particular have increased, with robberies becoming more violent. Critics say cutbacks mean crimes aren't being solved.
In the last year, there were 144,117 reported burglaries across the country, representing an increase of 9 percent on the year before. That amounts to a break-in every four minutes.
Daytime burglaries went up by 9.5 percent. Muggings of occupants are becoming more violent, with reports of victims being tied up, gagged and beaten, leaving many suffering from panic attacks and sleeplessness for months after the attack.
German home insurers paid out about €470 million in damages last year, 12 percent more than in 2011.
“The latest figures are alarming,” Jörg von Fürstenwerth, chairman of the Association of German iInsurers (GDV) told the Welt am Sonntag.
High-value electronic devices such as laptops, tablet computers and smartphones are driving up damage costs, which amount to an average of €3,300 per burglary according to an estimate by the GDV.
The vast majority of burglars escape undetected. Police solved just 15.7 percent of cases last year. Experts say cutbacks are to blame, as many commissions which had dealt specifically with burglaries having been wound down.
The German Police Union (BDK) described Germany as an “El Dorado for burglars.” André Schulz, chairman of the association told the told Welt am Sonntag that there was a shortage of people trained to carry out crime-scene investigation and analysis.
“Some states no longer even have a traditional criminal investigation department. But very few are aware of that,” said Schulz. “Citizens are paying the price for that.”
Interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is due to present the figures in Berlin on Wednesday.