Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ten Observations About Crime in Germany

This is an American's view....not a German's you need to take that as part of the commentary.

First, the theft of entire cars....rarely happens.  You can draw up a listing of all the cars taken in a typical year, and most are usually one or two year old German luxury cars (Porsche, Mercedes, Audi).  They typically don't reappear, and the cops will generally say that most end up in Russia (at least they believe that).  If you own a five-year old Honda Civic or're pretty safe.

Second, use of a gun in a crime?  It's rare.  Usually, this is either a bank robbery or a home invasion where the owner has a basement safe or vault that is the target.

Third, most small villages (say 500 residents) might go a year or two....without a single crime.  Some might even go ten years....without a crime.  The more remote you are in Germany....the safer you are.

Fourth.  This Gypsy thing is always brought up and discussed by Germans at the local level.  It'll never be discussed on TV because the moderators wouldn't want to appear to be anti-Gypsy.  But at the local level....they will discuss it and openly point fingers at Gypsies passing through the community.  The cops?  They never maintain records or statistics on them....a crime is a crime.  They'd prefer not to point at one certain group.

Fifth, drug-connected crimes typically occur in metropolitan areas, like Frankfurt, Hamburg, or Berlin.  But you can generally find drugs sold throughout the entire country.  The emphasis that weed is typically the most significantly sold drug, and from there, it takes a big step down.

Sixth, violent assaults are rare.  Unless you want to hang out in the wrong part of Mainz or Frankfurt at are fairly safe to venture out in most cities at night.

Seventh....scam artists do operate in Germany and are probably as creative as they are in the US.  Yes, they tend to pick on older Germans because they are more naive and trusting.

Eighth, German cops are fairly good at what they do.  When they do catch you....the law and prosecution team have a simple task of putting a guy into jail or prison.  You might get less time than a US conviction would deal out, but I'd put better odds on you getting convicted in a German situation.

Ninth, political corruption?  It's rare that it ever gets into the German public news.  It does happen, but it's probably less frequent than in the US.

Tenth, pickpockets do operate in Germany.  If you travel around airports or need to be smart and have your stuff secure.  They occasionally work in teams....trying to draw your attention into another direction, so when someone starts to ask might want to shift yourself around and start looking at who is standing close to you.

Finally, this note.....for the most part, you are safer in Germany than the US.  An American would tend to notice that after a year or two, and perhaps appreciate that.

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