New study aims to capture crime in cyberspace

WIf you want to get an idea of ​​crime in Germany, you can’t do without the police crime statistics (PKS). However, the picture that the PKS has painted every year since 1953 is not complete. It only shows crimes that have been reported: the so-called bright field. The dark field of crime has not been systematically investigated in Germany so far. In the future, the study “Security and Crime in Germany” should close this gap. Holger Münch, President of the Federal Criminal Police Officeexpressed it on Tuesday when he presented the results together with Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD): “We bring light into the dark field.”

A good 46,000 people were interviewed throughout Germany for the first survey wave; In the future, the survey is to be repeated every two years. According to Münch and Faeser, this became necessary above all because the crime is fundamentally changing. While the PCS for classic offenses such as theft or violent crime has been declining for years, the number of criminal offenses in the digital sphere is constantly increasing – by 66 percent in the past ten years.

One in three is afraid of criminals in cyberspace

At the same time, cybercrime often takes place in the dark. According to Interior Minister Faeser, only every tenth crime is reported. BKA President Münch summarized the development on Tuesday as follows: “We are observing a digitization of crime and thus a shift in crime to the dark field.”

The new numbers now give an idea of ​​how big the problem is. According to this, within a year before the survey, 13.5 percent of those surveyed were victims of criminals in cyberspace. The fear of it is also widespread. One in three respondents fears that this could happen to them in the next twelve months. A good one in four does not conduct financial transactions on the Internet for fear of criminals. Accordingly, Münch called cyberspace “one of the major challenges for the security authorities”. The police must expand their resources in this area.

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