Violent crime in Germany

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ARTE recently broadcast a documentary called "Angst! Das Trauma der Opfer" (viewable here) about random violent crime and how it affects ordinary people. The programme featured interviews with victims of violent crime (e.g. muggings and street attacks) in Germany and France and referred to cases such as the killing of Dominik Brunner in Munich. The message was that these crimes are on the rise and that public places are becoming increasingly unsafe.

 

 

Jeder vierte Westdeutsche und jeder dritte Ostdeutsche gibt an, sich unsicher zu fühlen, bei Dunkelheit in der eigenen Wohngegend unterwegs zu sein. Und knapp 40 Prozent der Franzosen gehen davon aus, innerhalb der nächsten zwölf Monate Opfer eines kriminellen Übergriffs zu werden. Nicht nur wehrlose Passanten, auch Vertreter des Staates werden zunehmend zu Zielscheiben von Gewalt und Kriminalität.

(One in four West Germans and one in three East Germans say that they feel unsafe going about in the dark near where they live. Almost 40% of people in France believe that they will become victims of crime within the next 12 months. Not only defenceless passers-by but also representatives of state authority are increasingly becoming the targets of violence and crime.)

According to the programme, there has been a 70% increase in violent crime in Germany since 1993. That seemed astounding. What could be the reason? Poor parenting? Violent TV? Gangs? But these have been around for long time.

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According to the programme,

 

If the programme told you to jump of a cliff, would you?

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Just more fear mongering. It sells.

 

Like Kathi, I've never lived anywhere as safe as Munich so I'm completeley relaxed. I feel icky when I go home to the US.

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Maybe a combination of loss of ethics, no education, poor parenting, violent TV and Music. And I think part of the fear is simply that all those incidents are known thanks to internet. But "violent crime" is not differenciated enough. There are a lot of different crimes with different reasons. And I think an increasing number of disorders, mostly with girls, has the same reasons as the violent crimes committed by youths (wich was meant, I guess, I didn't watch the programme).

And I sometimes think boys should have more possibilities of "fighting", but in a way that is guided and shows them how to fight fair and respect their opponents. Like martial arts in schools for example.

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... there has been a 70% increase in violent crime in Germany since 1993. That seemed astounding. ...

 

Remember a percentage doesn't mean much without some actual figures behind it, papers love to use percentages because they seem a lot scarier than they actually are when you work them out. (Advertisers do much the same thing because it seems like more than it actually is "now with 25% MOAR!!!" etc.)

 

This video explains it all, an example he uses is the headline: "Crime doubled in the last 10 years", which when you use the doubling-time to work it out basically translates to "Crime growing at a rate of 7% per year".

 

Ergo, I feel pretty safe from what you've told me.

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I'd like to see the actual number because a 70% increase since 1993 doesnt tell much.

 

Country XXX has 1 000 000 inhabitants in 2009;

 

In 2009, Country XXX had 2 persons unemployed

 

In 2010 Country XXX had 3 persons unemployed.

 

The news: Unemployment has grown 50% in 1 year!!!

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Haven't been able to find numbers newer than 2002, but they put the rate of violent crime (assault, robbery, rape, murder; in order of most to least common) at 236.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.

 

German traffic accidents with personal injuries per 100,000 inhabitants (2008): 389.2. And many of those are accidents with multiple injuries.

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This is a pretty good overview:

http://www.bka.de/pks/zeitreihen/pdf/t01.pdf

 

Basically the most serious forms of violent crime (murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery) are way down since 1993. Assault is way up, but if you look at the figures for 'bodily injury caused by negligence' (fahrlässige Körperverletzung), those are way up too. Traffic accidents make up most of those cases, but traffic accidents are way down as well, so even though there are fewer accidents and fewer injuries, a lot more people have filed charges.

 

I'm guessing a large chunk of this increase is actually due to an increase in reporting, rather than higher incidence.

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I tend to feel that areas become less safe where there are transient populations and there is little community spirit between neighbors watching out for each other. Because of this, on the whole I feel country areas to be safer than cities and, for similar style area, Germany does feel relativly safe to me.

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Germany feels safe to me. Sure there are some wannabe gangstas around but compared to the US I don´t worry much here.

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In the town where I live I never lock my car doors. Lot of people around here leave their rear house doors unlocked. In Frankfurt where I work I've only ever known one person to be a victim of violent crime (mugging). Mostly you can walk around Frankfurt at all hours without worrying about getting mugged. Getting hit by a lunatic in a BMW is another thing altogether.

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bal00. You're exactly right, its the reporting. Assault is up. What is assault? It's making someone else feel threatened without any physical contact. When you get physical its called battery. Assault is a misdemeanor and most of it is bullshit, not worthy of a case number to bring up crime stats and not many D.A.'s will prosecute it.

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I feel relatively safe in Germany, although there are some places I won't dare to walk around during the night. In general Germany is safer than most EU countries I have been.

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I am having been living in Berlin for about year and must say I dont feel that safe. In March My 85 year old neighbor was murdered by some crazy Bulgarian guy. Not sure what the motive was. In May my girlfriend was attacked coming home from work around 10pm. To top it off, another crazy tried to stab a BVG worker standing next to me on the S-bahn and then proceeded to pepper spray the entire car.

 

On the other hand most of friends here have not any problems and say that they feel pretty darn safe here. Maybe I am just in the wrong part of town :ph34r:

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I always feel really safe walking around Frankfurt. There are some lonely underground stations that I would probably avoid late at night, but that is about it. There are so many people out and about all the time, that it just feels safe.

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You really gotta be kidding...this is the safest country ever...compared to good old uk its like living in a effing convent!!!

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Coming from suburbia, I am not feeling so safe here. I like a big city with lots of people walking around over all this empty grassland, woods, or just streets with everyone tucked up in front of the television set instead of on the street. I am also afraid of icy sidewalks and lightning, come winter, so I guess I am just a fraidycat.

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You really gotta be kidding...this is the safest country ever...compared to good old uk its like living in a effing convent!!!

 

I posted a similar comment on another thread. I agree.

 

My standard comment on this stuff is: Go and watch "Bowling for Columbine" and listen to Michael Moores comments and observations on fear.

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bal00. You're exactly right, its the reporting. Assault is up. What is assault? It's making someone else feel threatened without any physical contact. When you get physical its called battery. Assault is a misdemeanor and most of it is bullshit, not worthy of a case number to bring up crime stats and not many D.A.'s will prosecute it.

 

Well, Körperverletzung does involve physical contact, but whether to report or not is often a judgement call. Even Gefährliche Körperverletzung doesn't have to be terribly serious. A shoe is considered a dangerous item, so if someone kicks you while wearing a shoe, legally speaking he has attacked you with a dangerous item, so even if you may only have a small bruise on your shin, it's a case of Gefährliche Körperverletzung.

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