According to the latest crime numbers for Germany, 2017 was a great year as the country saw its crime rates plummet nearly ten percent over 2016 — the biggest drop in nearly 25 years.
In a report published by Welt, it was noted that this significant drop brings Germany’s crime figures to the lowest level since the country’s reunification in 1992.
The statistics reported by the Polizeilichen Kriminalstatistik (PKS) peg the total number of reported crimes in Germany at 5.76 million offenses in 2017, which was a 9.6 percent or 610,542 offense drop from 2016.
Around one-third of the reported crimes were related to theft, though 2017 saw the number of cases drop 11.8 percent. Shoplifting dropped 6.6 percent with a reported 353,384 cases, and the number of car and bike thefts dropped significantly as well to 33,263 (down 8.6 percent) and 300,006 (down 9.8 percent) respectively.
directly tied to the drop in refugees entering Germany
The cause for the large drop, according to Oliver Malchow, Chairman of the German Police Officers’ Union, can be directly tied to the drop in refugees entering Germany last year.
In an interview with Welt, Malchow warned against “premature conclusions regarding the security situation” as the country is still in the midst of the refugee crisis, but couldn’t deny that “since the first German crime statistics in 1993, we have not yet recorded such a high decline.”
While the overall crime numbers are on the decline, not all categories saw an improvement over the prior year. In 2017, murder rates rose 3.2 percent with a total of 785 cases despite violent crimes falling by 2.4 percent.
Drug-related offenses grew quite a bit in 2017 by 9.2 percent — cannabis up 12 percent, cocaine and crack up 18.7 percent, and heroin up 2.6 percent.