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Burglary rate in Germany hits 15-year high

According to police figures, over 160,000 burglaries were reported in Germany in 2015 - an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2014. The number of solved cases has improved slightly, by 1.4 percent to 56.3 percent.

German daily "Die Welt" reported on Wednesday that the number of all offenses recorded by German police last year climbed by 4.1 percent since 2014 - reaching a total of 6.33 million.

The number of burglaries in Germany increased for the ninth consecutive year, with figures now at a 15-year high. There were over 152,000 such cases in 2014 and 149,500 in 2015.

According to police statistics, the increase in burglaries in Germany is nothing new. In the early 1990s, the figures were even higher than today, with 227,000 cases reported in 1993 alone.

Hamburg and NRW see highest jump

2015's rise in break-ins was particularly high in the northern city state of Hamburg, where there were roughly 5,200 reported cases - 20 percent more than in 2014. Some 3,700 attempted burglaries were also registered. According to Hamburg police, the total damaged caused amounted to around 20.2 million euros ($22.8 million).

An 18.1-percent increase in burglaries in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) was also above average, with more than 62,000 burglaries reported there in 2015. Just 5,800 people were prosecuted. NRW police records showed that almost 50 percent of the break-ins were committed between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Thefts also on the increase

According to the statistics released on Wednesday, almost 40 percent of all offenses in Germany last year were thefts. High growth rates of 7.1 percent and 7 percent were also recorded in shoplifting and pickpocket, respectively.

The number of car thefts also increased slightly by 0.3 percent, with over 36,500 stolen cars reported nationwide. Bicycle thefts were down slightly by 1.3 percent to 335,000.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) is expected to officially present the statistics in Berlin in May. At last year's statistics presentation, de Maziere said he was concerned by the increase in burglaries, and instructed the Federal Criminal Police Office to establish a concept to better combat organized crime. According to the criminal bureau, many of the break-in gangs originate from eastern Europe and often disappear over the open borders.

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