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Security in Germany

The rates of criminality are comparatively low in Germany, and there are well-established investigation authorities that are networked world-wide.

Germany is one of the safest countries in the world. The number of criminal offences fell by roughly one million between 2016 and 2020 to a figure of some 5.3 million, the lowest point since 1993. By contrast, the ratio of criminal offences that were solved reached an all-time high, with the perpetrators being identified in more than 58 percent of cases.

However, cyber-criminality poses an ever-greater challenge. In particular, short-term changes in digital infrastructure during the Corona pandemic were in some places made to the detriment of IT security, which led to an increase in the number of successful attacks. The Standing Conference of State Ministers of the Interior has therefore made cyber-criminality one of the focusses of its work. Moreover, combatting precisely cross-border criminality in the virtual realm calls for international cooperation. In this context, Germany collaborated amongst others with the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol.

Collaboration between the Federal and State governments

As a matter of principle, given Germany’s federal structure the federal states are responsible for policing. The German Basic Law stipulates, however, that the Federal government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › shall discharge specific duties. The Federal government police authorities include the German Federal Police Force and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The Federal Police Force is responsible, above all, for protecting the country’s borders and is deployed, for example, at railway stations and airports. The BKA concerns itself, amongst other things, with politically motivated violence and terrorism. In these areas, Germany again works closely with the security services in other countries and with international organizations such as Interpol. Since 2014, German lawyer Jürgen Stock has been Interpol Secretary General.

German police staff are also deployed in countries in crisis or conflict, such as in Afghanistan and Mali. Usually as part of an EU or UN mission, they train local security personnel and/or strengthen the mechanisms underpinning the rule of law and human rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › .