Text from the Indicator Report 2022
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 6,070 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021. Thus, the target value for 2030 of less than 6,500 criminal offences was achieved ahead of time for the second time in a row. The indicator fell by 27.3 % between 1993 and 2021. 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 2021, though, when they made up only 2.9 % 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 2021 than in previous years (5.0 million).
In 2021, domestic burglaries accounted for 1.1 %, fraud for 15.7 %, and dangerous and serious bodily injury for 2.4 %. Between 2016 and 2021, the incidence of domestic burglary fell by 64.1 %, fraud fell by 11.7 % and cases of dangerous and serious bodily injury fell by 12.6 %.
The success rate for solving cases was 58.7 % of all offences registered by the police in 2021, 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 19.5 %. By contrast, 63.3 % of fraud offences and 83.9 % 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.