Burglars? Detect suspicious persons!

Verdächtige Personen
Anyone can become a victim of a burglary. For this it is sufficient not to have paid attention for once. Once the apartment or front door not to have locked or to leave the window tilted, if one leaves the house or the apartment to shop or to drive somewhere else. When you return, you will notice that someone has gained unauthorised access to your house or apartment. Once not paying attention and already they have struck mercilessly. But who are they, these burglars? Who becomes a burglar and why? In this article we will get to the bottom of these and other questions. For this purpose we will use findings from statistics to show you who the group of perpetrators is and why they become burglars.

Most burglars are male

In the current issue, "Burglary Report 2018" of the German insurance company, most of the suspects who are held responsible for housebreaking have one thing in common: they are 80% male. Only a small proportion of the total perpetrator group is therefore women.

On average, burglars are 28 years old

The average age of burglars is 28 years and 75% of criminals were not older than 35 years at the time of the investigation. The most strongly represented age group was the 21- to 34-year-olds. This group accounted for a share of almost 40%. About 35% of the suspects were younger than 21 years of age and almost half of them were still minors at the time of the crime.

without work and without family ties

Information on marital status, professional activity outside crime, and educational level, i.e. school leaving certificate and highest completed education, was not available in all cases for a long time. Nevertheless, the available data show the following clear tendency and an approximately representative pattern: almost two thirds of all suspects were single at the time of the crime and only one in five burglars was married.
Well over 50% of the suspected burglars could not prove that they were working properly at the time of the investigation. Only one in five burglars was employed at the time of the investigation and a further 20% were either in school or vocational training. With regard to the highest level of education completed, the picture is also clear: Almost one in two had no school-leaving qualification (46.0%). Almost one third of the perpetrators had the highest school leaving certificate, a lower secondary school leaving certificate (29.9%), and only 45% of the suspects had completed vocational training. The lack of social and family ties as well as the supposed lack of career prospects can be possible and probable reasons for the slipping into crime.

Burglars? Detect suspicious persons!

Ratio between perpetrator and victim

Very interesting and equally surprising is the realization that suspects often come from the social environment of their victims. In more than 40% of all burglary cases, the suspect and the victim of the burglary were related. In most cases these are members of the circle of friends or acquaintances. A good quarter of the suspects are ex-partners as well as current partners, relatives and other family members. Envy, jealousy but also insurance fraud play an important role in the motive of burglary. In each fourth case the victim and the perpetrator knew each other by sight or from the neighbourhood. Another quarter of the suspects are former roommates, subtenants, tenants or previous tenants of the burglary victim(s). This group of perpetrators knows the apartment or house particularly well and knows about the weak points that can be exploited to gain easy access. Another reason is that this group of perpetrators can often still have a spare key from their own rental period and so a break-in is made extremely easy. Here applies the old however unfortunately very fitting proverb opportunity makes thieves or better burglars in completely special way.

A burglar rarely comes alone

There is almost no difference between the suspects and the group of legally convicted perpetrators. The perpetrators who have been convicted by a court of law of breaking and entering a house or flat are predominantly male (89.9%), are on average 26.3 years old, and were mostly born in Germany (56.6%). In addition, the majority of those convicted were not undescribed, but had often already been convicted of at least one previous offence at the time of the offence (79.1%). Thus the average burglar is quite clearly a repeat offender.

Almost exactly half of all convicted burglars were in possession of German citizenship at the time of the crime (49.3%). Among non-German citizens, the Turkish group accounts for the largest share. This is not surprising purely in terms of statistics and the distribution of probabilities, since Turks make up the largest proportion of all foreigners in Germany. Other strongly represented non-German citizenships are Serbian, Romanian and Croatian. Frequently, the burglaries are also carried out jointly by German and foreign citizens.

In total, more than 40% of the offences that led to a conviction are committed jointly with at least one other perpetrator convicted. Also in almost 40% of the crimes there were indications of an addiction background, which suggests a procurement crime.

Although there are nationalities, especially those of Eastern Europeans, which often appear overrepresentative - measured by the number of inhabitants - this is mainly due to the lack of perspective of the people. A lack of education and social stability in combination with an addiction seem to be the main triggers for a slipping into acquisitive crime.

How were the burglars convicted?

It is often the testimonies of witnesses that provide the decisive basis for suspicion (47.2%). In a little more than every fourth case, connections with one or more other burglaries are decisive in finding the perpetrators (26.1%). The "catching in the act" by the police and the arrest in the immediate vicinity of the crime scene occurs in almost 16% of all cases. By leaving traces, such as fingerprints and DNA traces, almost 15% of the perpetrators can be convicted. If the perpetrators are already known to the authorities and corresponding samples are available, the greatest chances of success in the mediation and conviction of suspects are offered here in comparison.

Nevertheless, only in relatively few of all cases did testimony and recorded traces of the burglars lead to an investigation against a suspect or to the substantiation of an already existing suspicion.

The strengthening of the police forces is thus regarded as an ineffective measure to improve the rate of intelligence and conviction. Rather, police forces should increase their presence in order to prevent and deter burglars by using regular patrol cars, especially in areas where burglars have been more frequent. Increased police forces are much more useful here.

Finally, the statistics clearly show that the risk for perpetrators in Germany to be convicted for burglary is extremely low. The major problem of rising burglary figures and the associated very low rate of investigation as well as the resulting, even lower conviction rate can definitely not be solved exclusively by changes at police, prosecution or court level. Preventive measures to prevent and reduce the risk of burglary are therefore indispensable. Every person, whether tenant or owner, apartment or house owner, should take the security of their own four walls into their own hands and prevent it with the help of technical measures.

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