Efus Country Profile: Germany


Last update: August 2009 (SSp)

1. Crime statistics

Total population: 82 314 900
Total crimes: 6 284 661 cases (-0.3% since 2006)
Crime rate: 7635 cases per 100 000 inhabitants (-0.16% since 2006)
Main Offences (2007):
Theft (serious and normal) = 40.7%
Fraud = 14.5%
Damage to Property = 12.7%
Assault / Bodily injury = 8.7%
Drug related crime = 4.0%
Other crime: 19.4%
Offenders incl. suspects (2007): Total: 2 294 883 (+0.5% since 2006)
Minors percentage (< 21) : 27.1%  (4.4% under 14; 12.2% 14-18years old: 10.6% 18-21years old)
Men percentage: 75.8%
Women percentage: 24.2%
Suspects with German nationality: 1 804 605 (+1.4%) = 78.6% of total
Suspects of foreign nationality: 490 278 (-2.5%) = 21.4%
Prison population (31.03.05): 62 361
Prison capacity: 79 204 (in 2004)
Age of criminal responsibility: 14, (up to 21 according to circumstances)
National victimisation survey: Yes (irregularly since 1989)
(Source: BKA Police Crime Statistics 2007)
More about crime stats at the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA).

2. Safety and crime prevention (general)

Police forces (2007): approx. 39 000 federal police officers, approx. 250 000 police officers of the 16 Länder police forces
Judicial system workforce (2000): 20 880 judges (25 per 100 000 inhabitants)
Private security forces (2001): 2500 companies with 170 000 employees (estimated)
Relevant NGO’s operating in the field of crime prevention: German Forum for Crime Prevention (Public Foundation), Weisser Ring, regional and local crime prevention councils

3. Competence of State, regional and local authorities

Federal Legislation: Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Law), Gewaltschutzgesetz (Protection from Violence Act) in force since 1.1.2002;
National actions plans: National Integration Plan (2007); Action plan for the Protection of Children and Young people against sexual violence and exploitation (2003) ; National Congress for Mediators in Schools and Youth Centres (2003) “CIVITAS – Initiative against Right-Wing Extremism in the Five New Federal Länder” (2001) ; Action Plan to Combat Violence Against Women (2000) including the foundation of a working group on domestic violence ; Co-ordination Network Against Traffic in Women and Violence Against Women Migrants (KOK) founded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (1999) ; Federal Government-Federal Länder program for urban development promotion “Districts with Special Development Needs – the Social City” (since 1999) ; Prevention of juvenile delinquency (1998) surveyed by the Office for the Prevention of Child and Juvenile Delinquency at the German Youth Welfare Institute ; National Concept on Sport and Safety (1992) including The Steering Committee for Fan Projects (KOS) established by the German Sports Youth in 1993
Regional level of competence: The federal Länder have full competence in police affairs and run their own police forces according to the Landespolizeigesetz. The Länder are responsible for planning, implementation and evaluation of violence prevention work involving police and schools. The former border police ( Bundesgrenzschutz) has been successively turned into a federal police force controlled by the Ministry of the Interior and officially changed name in summer 2005 (Bundespolizei).
Local authorities: They pursue the elaboration and implementation of local security analysis’s and action plans. Role of elected officials (city mayors): They bear responsibility for an adequate violence prevention work in a specific local context.

4. Partnerships and cooperation in the field of crime prevention

National Crime Prevention Council : German Forum for Crime Prevention (since 2001)
National action plan: The Standing Conference of Ministers of the Interior approved a joint programme on internal security in 1974, which has been continued in 1998.
Partnership structures at the regional level: In 2002 the Länder governments set up a Working Group on the Prevention of Violence. Most Länder have set up crime prevention councils (Hessen, Nordrhein Westfalen, Brandenburg, Niedersachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Thüringen)
Partnership structures at the local level: 2000 municipal councils for delinquency prevention covering nearly 10% of all cities, comprising municipal administrations, the police and associations under the chairmanship of the mayors. In 2006, more than 2000 ocal authority prevention committees existed in Germany.

5. Main Debates

Child Abuse and Domestic violence; Integration and Immigration (but mostly concenring citizenship and social integration, some debates around crime focus on scapegoating immigrant youths); Violence against foreigners/migrants motivated by racism, right-wing extremism, xenophobia and/or anti-Semitism, or towards those deemed as being “left-wing” or “foreign” by the perpetrators; child and juvenile delinquency particularly as regards violence in schools; Trafficking in human beings (in connection with the ratification of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children)