Keeping Germany safe

Police and emergency services Keeping Germany safe

Strengthening trust in and respect for the work of police officers, first responders and firefighters and taking resolute action to stop assaults against emergency workers is a matter of key concern for the Federal Government. The Federal Ministry of the Interior’s new nationwide campaign calls for more respect for the police and emergency services.

The police, fire brigade and emergency services work to keep Germany safe

The police, fire brigade and emergency services work to keep Germany safe

Photo: Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

The new campaign – "Keeping Germany Safe" – takes up and implements one of the points in the Government’s Coalition Agreement: “We must work at all levels to combat violence against police officers, emergency staff and other representatives of the state, as well as volunteer staff.”

More assaults against police officers and emergency staff

Police officers and emergency workers continue to be assaulted across Germany as they go about their daily work. As is the case with other violent crimes, alcohol and drugs are a key contributory factor.

The Police Crime Statistics list police officers, other enforcement officers (e.g. customs officers) and other emergency workers (e.g. firefighters) separately as victims within the meaning of sections 113, 114 and 115 of the German Criminal Code if they are the victims of violent crimes such as murder under aggravating circumstances (Mord), murder (Totschlag), robbery, bodily harm, coercion (Nötigung), threats, resisting law enforcement or assault.

The facts and figures speak for themselves:

  • In 2018 a total of 85,604 enforcement officers (including 79,164 police officers) and other emergency staff were the victims of one of the aforementioned offences (either attempted or actual) (2017: 77,791, including 73.897 police officers). This equates with a 10% increase (police officers: +7.1%).
  • There was an increase in the number of victims of coercion (2017: 1,440, 2018 1,569 / +9.0%). By contrast, the number of victims of threats dropped (2017: 5,424, 2018: 5,097 / –6.0%).
  • The drop in number of victims of wilful bodily harm and dangerous and grievous bodily harm is likely due to the introduction of a new category of offence of "assault on enforcement officers" (section 114 of the Criminal Code), which is why no year-on-year comparison is possible.
  • A total of 47,495 police officers were recorded as victims of resistance to police officers in 2017; in 2018 a total of 44,245 police officers (–6.8%) were recorded as victims in the course of resistance to enforcement officers and those equal to enforcement officers. It may be the case that these crimes are now also being recorded as "assault on enforcement officers".
  • The number of cases of violent offences against police officers increased from 36,441 (2017) to 38,109 (2018, +4.6%). The larger increase in the number of victims (+7.1%) compared to the number of cases could be due to the fact that more officers are being deployed, meaning that significantly more police officers become the victims of criminal offences in situations of conflict.
  • A total of 31,346 suspects were registered as having resisted or assaulted enforcement officers in 2018, 21,482 of whom were German nationals (68.5%) and 9,864 of whom were non-German suspects (31.5%).

Building on the 2017 “Strong for You. Strong for Germany” campaign, the new campaign shows the emotional faces of the people behind the uniform. More information about the "Keeping Germany Safe" campaign” is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.