Crime in Germany drops by biggest margin in a quarter century: report
Nationwide crimes of almost every type decreased in 2017, with overall crime dropping to a level not seen since before reunification, according to statistics from the police published by Welt newspaper on Sunday.
Last year the number of crimes across the country fell by almost 10 percent. This is the sharpest year-on-year drop in almost 25 years, reported Welt.
Whereas a total of 5.76 million crimes were committed in Germany last year, in 2016 this number was 610,542 - a decrease of 9.6 percent.
Oliver Malchow, Chairman of the German Police Officers' Union, told Welt to avoid "premature conclusions regarding the security situation."
Malchow noted that part of the decrease is related to the fact that fewer asylum seekers came to Germany last year compared to the previous year.
In 2016, several hundred thousand refugees were recorded as breaking German border crossing laws when they arrived in the country.
Since the first time nationwide crime statistics were recorded in 1993, a decline as large as this hasn’t been recorded, Malchow added.
As in previous years, about one third of all crimes involve theft. But with 2.09 million cases of theft recorded last year, this was a decrease of 11.8 percent.
Shoplifting and pickpocketing also declined by 6.6 percent and by 22.7 percent, respectively.
In addition, fewer cars (down 8.6 percent) and bicycles (down 9.8 percent) were stolen.
The police have also been particularly successful in combating burglary. The number of break-ins has fallen nationwide by 23 percent to 116,540 cases - although 80 percent of burglaries are still unsolved.
The number of non-German suspects also fell by 22.8 percent, to 736,265 cases.
Conversely, in a few categories crime rates actually increased.
Murders in 2017 compared to in 2016 increased by 3.2 percent, to 785 cases - in spite of a drop of 2.4 percent in reported violent crime.
Drug offenses also rose by 9.2 percent, to 330,580 cases. This includes an increase of crimes related to cannabis (up 12 percent), cocaine and crack (up 18.7 percent) and heroin (up 2.6 percent).
Child pornography cases (6,512) moreover rose 14.5 percent.