'Germany is one of the safest countries in the world'

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DPA/The Local - [email protected]
'Germany is one of the safest countries in the world'
Photo: DPA

Crime is at its lowest level in Germany in nearly 30 years but many people still feel unsafe.


Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Tuesday said Germany is "one of the safest countries in the world" as he unveiled the latest police statistics that show crime is at its lowest level since records began in the early 90s, shortly after reunification.
But a study, also presented by the centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU)'s Seehofer, showed that many people in Germany still feel unsafe. 
As The Local reported, nationwide there was a total of 5.55 million criminal offences recorded in 2018, a decrease of around 3.6 percent compared to the previous year, reported Welt.

The new figures show recorded crime dropped in all states last year apart from one.

SEE ALSO: Crime in Germany at lowest level since reunification

However, authorities warn that statistics do not tell the whole story as many offences go unreported.

Horst Seehofer in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

'Lowest figures for decades'

Seehofer said less than one percent of the population is affected by serious crime in Germany. "Every crime is of course one too many. But objectively this is the lowest figure for decades," he said. However Seehofer was wary of calling it a success, saying that would only be the case if "this trend was also sustainable".

The number of violent crimes decreased by 1.9 percent compared to the previous year, and theft decreased by 7.5 percent, reported Welt.

Bavaria is the only state in Germany to record an increase in crime last year (0.9 percent) compared to the previous year. 

Meanwhile, sexual child abuse and child pornography reports have increased. Compared to the previous year, the number of recorded cases of abuse rose by 6.7 percent from 11,547 to 12,321, and the number of suspects nabbed by officers increased by 5.4 percent to 9,357.

How safe do people feel?

At the press conference, Seehofer also discussed the findings of a report about how safe people feel in Germany.

In 2017, a total of 22 percent of people who responded to a survey said they felt unsafe at night in their own home - that's five percentage points more than five years earlier.
The study by the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (MPI) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) also found that women, middle-aged people and residents of medium-sized cities, as well as eastern Germans, are the people who feel most unsafe.
Almost nine percent of people consider it quite or very likely that they will become a victim of a terrorist attack.
The results also show that people in Germany have a high confidence in the police and courts, said Holger Münch, head of the Federal Criminal Police Office.


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