Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Crime – Further increasing personal security

Indicator 16.1: Criminal offences

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the number of criminal offences reported to the police per 100,000 inhabitants.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

A safe environment in which people can live without fear of lawlessness and crime is an essential prerequisite for sustainable development. The target is therefore to bring the number of recorded criminal offences per 100,000 inhabitants down to less than 6,500 by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

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Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The indicator covers all criminal offences recorded in the Police Crime Statistics. These are criminal offences reported to and fully processed by the police, except offences against the security of the state, traffic offences and administrative offences.

Criminal offences committed outside the Federal Republic of Germany are not included, nor are offences that are not within the remit of the police, such as financial and tax offences, or are reported directly to and processed by the public prosecution office, such as offences relating to false testimony in court.

The Police Crime Statistics publications are compiled annually based on the data available from the Land Criminal Police Offices and the Federal Criminal Police Office. To calculate the number of criminal offences per 100,000 inhabitants, (extrapolated) population figures based on the 2011 census are used for the entire time series. This methodology allows comparisons over time to be made from 1993 onwards. It should be noted that this results in discrepancies in relation to the Police Crime Statistics data published prior to 2013.

Changes in the Police Crime Statistics do not always reflect actual changes, as the statistics cover only that proportion of criminal activity that officially comes to the attention of the police. Since there is no statistical data on offences which go unreported, such crimes cannot be reflected in the Police Crime Statistics. However, the proportion of reported versus unreported crime was investigated in 2012 and 2017 by means of the German Victim Survey. For the offences dealt with in the survey, no statistically significant change in reporting rates was found between 2012 and 2017.

The number of offences was 6,548 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019. If the trend seen in recent years continues, the target value of fewer than 6,500 offences set for 2030 will be achieved. The indicator fell by 21.6% between 1993 and 2019. This trajectory, however, has not been continuous. For instance, it increased from 2000 to 2004, before entering a slight decline which continued until 2010. The large number of people who entered Germany as refugees and asylum-seekers from 2015 on is also reflected in the Police Crime Statistics, with violation of the legislation concerning foreigners (e.g. illegal entry) soaring by 211.8% in 2016 compared with 2014. Such offences had fallen drastically by 2019, though, when they made up only 3% of all criminal offences. Even when violations of the legislation concerning foreigners are accounted for, the total number of criminal offences registered by the police was lower in 2019 than in previous years.

In 2019, the total number of criminal offences registered by the police was 5.4 million. Of these, 1.6% involved domestic burglary, 15.3% involved fraud and 2.4% involved dangerous and serious bodily injury. Between 2014 and 2019, the incidence of domestic burglary fell by 42.7% and fraud fell by 14%, while cases of dangerous and serious bodily injury rose by 5.8%. The success rate for solving cases was 57.5% of all offences registered by the police in 2019, roughly the same as in the previous year. There were significant differences, however, depending on the type of criminal offence. For domestic burglary, for example, the rate of cases solved was only 17.4%. By contrast, 66.6% of fraud offences and 82.9% of cases of serious and grievous bodily harm cases were cleared up. The comparatively low success rate for domestic burglary is related to a high rate of reporting combined with the comparatively infrequent existence of solid leads pointing to the perpetrators. This is in sharp contrast to cases of fraud and bodily injury. These crimes have high clear-up rates because, in most cases, the identity of the suspect becomes known to the police as the crime is reported.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

16.1 Criminal offences

Target

Reduce the number of criminal offences re-corded per 100,000 inhabitants to less than 6,500 by 2030

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

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Source 1

 Federal Criminal Police Office

Organisation

Federal Criminal Police Office

Data source Police Crime Statistics opens in a new window

Source 2

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office