"Registered crime in Germany has dropped in recent years," said Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble when he presented the crime statistics for 2007. But more offenses than ever are committed by juveniles.
Teenagers are drinking more -- and committing more crimes
"Germany is one of the safest countries in the world," said the interior minister in Berlin on Thursday, May 22.
Some 20,000 fewer cases than the previous year were reported in 2007 -- a 0.3 percent drop to 6.3 million incidents per year. And that's not the only good news.
"A steady 55 percent of cases were solved," said Schaeuble.
The minister also welcomed the 2.5 percent reduction to 490,000 cases of crime committed by non-Germans, which he attributed to modified asylum and immigration legislation.
"Improved integration is having an effect," he pointed out.
But less promising is the fact that youth crime has gone up by almost 5 percent, with a notable rise of 6.3 percent in cases of violence and grievous bodily harm.
The number of female offenders is also growing.
"Excessive alcohol consumption plays a role," observed Schaeuble. "Drinking is on the increase."
Calling for boosted cooperation between police, schools, social workers and prosecutors, the minister said that state response to these cases needed to improve.
Digital crime is also on the rise, he revealed -- including breach of copyright and illegal downloading.
Crime in Germany was at an all-time high of 6.75 million registered cases in 1993.