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Germany sees spike in images of child sexual abuse

March 24, 2020

According to police, there were more than 12,000 reported cases of distribution, possession and production of images of child sexual abuse last year. There was a drop in other types of crime.

An arrest taking place
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/imageBROKER

While theft dropped to its lowest level since 1987, 2019 saw a nearly 65% increase in crime related to images of child sexual abuse.

According to a report on crime statistics issued by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on Tuesday, there were 12,262 recorded cases of distribution, possession and production of such images last year, while 2018 saw 7,449 cases — a marked increase of 4,813.

Read more: Germany's crime rate fell to lowest level in decades in 2018

Last year, a 37-year-old speech therapist was accused of 66 cases of child sexual abuse, including uploading videos of abuse that he had committed to the dark web. The case led police to identify over 40 other suspects a child pornography trading ring, more than half of whom were in Germany, according to Bavarian news outlet BR24.

Where other crimes were concerned, the rate of theft dropped by 5.9% to 1,822,212 cases. The report attributed the decrease to a combined drop in burglaries, pickpocketing, and vehicle break-ins.

Additionally, the overall crime rate dropped by 2.3%, with around 5.27 million total crimes committed in Germany over the last year. However, the rate of crimes committed against police officers has remained the same.

lc/rc (KNA, dpa, epd)

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