If you had been an American stationed around in Germany in 1989 and had a good view of crime in Germany at the time.....then came back today, I think you would be shaking your head and astonished at the different environment which exists today.
On the topic of pick-pockets....you rarely saw any German urbanized area with this problem in 1989. Today? I'd say almost all of the urbanized areas have this problem....some more....some less. Snatch and go crimes are common in every significant German city now....with cellphones stolen at hefty rates. Young thugs from Romania and gypsy gangs are mostly the ones blamed for the upswing. You have to pay attention to those around on a constant basis.
On the topic of stolen cars....it's typically Audi, Mercedes and BMWs that get stolen. They've figured out the signal technology to unlock the doors. Most of these episodes occur between 11PM and 4AM. On the rare occasions that the thieves are caught....it usually leads back to very small groups of thieves from eastern Europe. The cars? Cops tend to say they go toward Czech, and disappear. The suggestion is that they get into Russia....get registered into the system there and cops just look the other way. The other game played is parts stolen (tires, safety airbags, GPS systems, etc)....always from Audi, Mercedes and BMW. In my village of 4,000 people....if you go back to 1989, there were zero cars stolen. In 2015, around 11 cars that disappeared overnight (my renter had her Audi stolen from in front of the house).
On the topic of assaults....it's generally always at night. It might be one or two guys who just want to take a swing at you.....or some type of robbery intent.
On the topic of fake cops....it happens on a unpredictable basis. Three days ago right before sun-down, a car pulls up in Wiesbaden with three guys who flash a badge and ask a German woman to allow them to view her purse. After they handed the purse back.....they drove off.....she was missing a couple hundred Euro. Typically it's against tourists.
On the topic of break-in's....it's a regular event now in urbanized areas....almost like a candy store door has been left open. People are starting to install alarms at a significant rate. Cops who do catch these folks....usually determine they are east European in nature....Bulgarian or Romanian.
On the topic of drugs....it goes now to all extremes. Meth can be easily bought....it gets brought into the country from small labs in Czech (the cops say this anyway). Cocaine can be easily bought. Heroin, LSD, etc.....all within the grasp of German society today. The users aren't at the same level or rate as you'd see in the US....at least not yet.
On the topic of snatch and go at stores....it's now interfering with normal operations. Stores are having to spend money on theft-control. We aren't talking about the normal or big shops....I'm talking about the small two-person operation grocery store. Even they are getting hit.
On the topic of murders....they might be lucky and see this rate at some similar range of the 1980s. These usually fall into the jealous relationship area, or just some bad luck in the midst of a robbery.
Germans are a bit hyped up and the political folks are reacting.....hiring more cops. When you go into a train-station these days in Germany, you will see at least one foot-patrol on duty. In a station like Frankfurt, there's probably two patrols roaming the station. If you go to the Frankfurt airport, there are probably five or six foot-patrols roaming the airport now.
The blame? Germans will tell you that when the wall came down....it started up around this era. They will also talk about the cutbacks on cops in the 1990s....to save money. And Germans will be critical about the foreigners involved in the escalation of crime.
All of this pumps up the agenda of politicians and forces some conversations that never seem to go anywhere or fix anything. That's the sad part about this story.....nothing is going away.