Over the past year or two, if you follow the news business of Germany, there have been accusations that the crime numbers are manipulated. So ARD sent it's fact-checker crew out, and this morning.....they sorted through the issues.
Preliminary investigation reports, are not the same thing as finalized investigation reports. So when the head of the police or the national folks report X-number of cases....they are reported finalized investigation reports. In a city like Berlin or Hamburg, you could have literally hundreds of preliminary investigation reports sitting there, being created every ten days, and they don't count.
Part of this issue, which ARD points out, is the limited manpower of the clerks responsible for processing the reports. Various communities report shortages.
So, are the current statistics correct? If you look over this problem, you can probably take the numbers of 2016, and say that today.....they are 100-percent correct. I don't think you can say that yet for 2017, and any suggestion of quarterly report numbers being an accurate measurement....is totally false.
Should they count preliminary reports? That opens up a whole mess if you ask me. You might find twelve cops working eight cases, and suddenly they discover that all eight cases revolve around the same gang, so you'd go and attach the eight cases into one single investigation report. It would make more sense. I think most judges would agree with that logic.
So this fact-check episode helped to some degree, but it also lays out the long-term problem that you can't really trust crime numbers until a year or two later.