Crime rate hits 30-year low, but police warn of rise in violence against cops
National crime figures released on Tuesday show that crime dropped significantly last year. But attacks on emergency service workers is one of several types of crime on the rise.
Last year the authorities recorded 5.76 million crimes - the lowest number since 1992 - and in relation to the population, the recorded crime rate is lower than at any point in the past 30 years, the Interior Ministry announced in Berlin on Tuesday. For every 100,000 inhabitants, less than 7,000 crimes were recorded last year.
"Germany has become safer. But there is no reason to sound the all-clear," Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said as he presented the national crime statistics for 2017 on Tuesday.
According to the Interior Ministry, 55.7 percent of crimes were solved last year, the highest proportion in over a decade.
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At the same time, clear-up rates depend heavily on the type of crime: at one end of the scale 17.8 percent of burglaries were solved; at the other end, 95.6 percent of homicides are solved.
Three quarters of last year's 1.98 million suspects were men. About 30 percent of the suspects were not German citizens.
Seehofer was able to boast of dramatic cuts in the rate of theft and burglary, which fell by 11.8 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Violent crime has also declined slightly - by 2.4 percent.
In contrast, offences in which pornography was spread increased by 12.9 percent.
Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse, responded to the news by describing the "shocking extent" of crime involving child and youth pornography which currently exists.
The crime statistics also showed that violations of the weapons law increased by 10.3 percent and drug offences by 9.2 percent. There was also a strong increase of 28.7 percent in white-collar crime, which the Interior Ministry attributed to an unspecified "complex investigation" that was concluded last year.
Police unions, meanwhile, pointed to an increase in violence against police and rescue forces.
"The numerous violent crimes against public service employees are a symptom of dwindling social cohesion and the consequence of a state that is too lenient," said Elke Hannack, deputy chairman of the German Police union (DGB).
According to the Police Union (GdP), 74,400 police officers were victims of completed and attempted crimes last year - around 2,600 more than in 2016.