Violent and sexual crimes rose, break-ins fell in 2016: media reports

Violent and sexual crimes rose, break-ins fell in 2016: media reports
Photo: DPA.
German media reported this week that government figures to be released on Monday will show increases in violent and sexual crimes, as well as that the the number of break-ins dropped for the first time in a decade.

Spiegel reported that the number of house break-ins in 2016 sunk by about 10 percent in 2016 compared to 2015 – the first time the number of reported break-ins had dropped in a decade.

Meanwhile Bild reported on Friday that the number of violent crimes in 2016 had risen by 6.7 percent, including under this category homicide and rape. Around 80 percent of violent crimes were robbery and assault.

The reports are based on police figures that are set to be officially presented on Monday by the Interior Ministry.

Of the violent offences recorded, cases of murder, homicide and voluntary euthanasia rose by 14.3 percent, reaching 2,400 cases, according to Bild. Rape and sexual assault increased by 12.8 percent to more than 7,900 cases. Hundreds of women reported sexual attacks on New Year’s Eve 2015-16 in cities like Cologne, mainly by groups of North African men.

According to criminal psychologist Rudolf Egg, murder and homicide have been decreasing in recent years, but noted that these kinds of figures tend to fluctuate.

Egg also pointed out that sometimes crimes that still remain in police statistics classified as murder later turn into charges of grievous bodily harm resulting in death by the time they get to court.

He observed that police statistics have also brought to light immigrant-related crimes in an increased way. Such crimes are not surprising because some immigrants have a “bunch of risk factors” due to their age and social structures: young, single men, without families, poorly integrated, with few professional prospects, who will likely not be permitted to stay in the country.

Many crimes are committed among immigrants against one another, and not against the “native German population”.

What is also noticeable, Egg said, is that comparatively few perpetrators are refugees fleeing wars or persecution.