Police Crime Statistics
Draw also on survey data
Used as indicator
- Monitoring (trend data)
Gain insights for: both preventive and reactive combat of crime (e.g. the crime prevention unit determines its focal areas for the next year based on trends revealed by these statistics). organisational planning. criminological/sociological research. crime political measures.
Data available on
- Marital status
Relationship with perpetrator
- Marital status
Case data, offender data (suspect: age, gender, nationality), age: split up (under 21, 21-25, 25-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, above 60), some victim data (age, gender) crime site distribution (cities with less than 20,000 inhabitants., 20,-100,000 inhabitants., 100,-500,000 inhabitants., more than 500,000 inhabitants.) use of firearm yes/no, rate of solution.
Criminal statistics on sexual violence
Criminal statistical data included
Data on sexual assault/rape, murder in connection with a sexual offence, and sexual abuse.
Cases are recorded when the investigation is completed; thus, the year in which a case is recorded is not necessarily also the year in which the incident took place.
Frequency of updating
Annual publication upon agreement amongst the conference of minister of the interior. At state level, data is updated monthly or quarterly. The latest data is of 2012.
No information available
No information available
Quality assurance process
Systematic plausibility checks by the state crime agencies and the Federal Crime Agency. If new information regarding a case already registered becomes available during the current year which affects its classification, corrections are made in the database.
Good. Until 2008, when data was still retrieved in aggregated format from state crime agencies. this lead to over counting of offender at national level (since offenders might commit offences in more than one state) - now that disaggregated data is received by the Federal Crime Agency, this risk is eliminated. Main limitation: amount of offences not known to Police not reflected in statistics. -! However, especially in the field of sexual crimes, many incidents are never reported by victims, potentially grossly underestimating the magnitude of these crimes. approaching reality but not actually depicting it. Moreover, individual cases might occur in different years of publication in different statistics - e.g. if an offender is only convicted a year after the crime, that person would occur in the police crime statistics in year 1 and in the penal statistics in year 2. The same applies to the prosecutions statistics (and cases may be dropped during the process, further complicating comparability).
Good. The Police Crime Statistics is a reliable measure of cases processed by the police. The reliability of the Police Crime Statistics as a measure of the total incidence of crimes (including cases not reported to the police) is difficult to assess, but probably weak in case of violence against women due to the low propensity to report such crimes to the police.
Good. The Police Crime Statistics for a calendar year become available usually in May of the following year.
- Over time
Over time. Limited comparability over time. since recent intervention will have increased the no. of reported cases (without necessarily indicating an overall increase of incidents – rather, the no. of unreported cases is likely to have gone down). Geographically not comparable between states but the statistics published at national level only contain those data which is comparable between states.
More data on victims has been included recently. The BKA seeks to harmonise more of the data it receives from states in order to include it in their own statistics. It tries to find a consensus between LKAs (state criminal agencies). Legal changes (e.g. in terms of offences or penalties) can trigger changes in the statistics. For example, increasing the gravity of a certain type of crime will mean that it will fall into another category in the statistics. But this does not affect the overall volume of crime presented in the statistics. In recent years, the scope of information on victims and their relationship to suspects contained in the Police Crime Statistics has been expanded. In 2011, for example, a more differentiated classification of the victim-suspect-relationship has been introduced, as well as the collection of information regarding specific attributes of the victim with relevance to the motivation of the offender (e. g. occupation of the victim, if the victim was in a state of helplessness, or if the victim was a homeless person).