Fear of health and the climate as well as violence and crime – German concerns 1


Despite falling crime numbers, there is growing concern that violence and crime will increase. This is what the “Security Report 2020” stated about the fears and concerns of the Germans. The authors show that the perceived security is lower than the real one – with clear differences between east and west.

“Health risks are still at the top of the population’s personal list of worries: 42 percent are very worried that they will become nurses in old age and could suffer from dementia, 35 percent feel particularly threatened by dangerous diseases such as cancer.” This is one of the most important results of the “Security Report 2020” presented in Berlin on Wednesday. For eleven years now, this has captured Germans’ concerns when it comes to internal and external security.

The fear of becoming a nursing case in old age follows in second place in the worry ranking with 40 percent of the consequences of climate change. Then comes the old age poverty (33 percent) and the terrorist attacks (30 percent). At 23 percent, the fear of crime is medium. Fear of unemployment can be found on the penultimate one (12 percent), fear of a traffic accident (13 percent) and blackouts (8 percent).

For this year’s “Security Report” edited from the Institute for Demoscopy (IfD) Allensbach and the Center for Strategy and Higher Management, 1,273 oral interviews were conducted in January this year with a representative cross-section of the German population aged 16 and over. According to the information, it was about personally perceived dangers and risks as well as issues of internal and external security.

Worries about social inequality

“The economic worries of the population have steadily decreased over the past seven years,” said Wednesday in Berlin IfD boss Renate Köcher and Klaus Schweinsberg from Centrum, “In 2013 around half of the population was still very worried about possible loss of income, currently this is only a quarter. The fear of unemployment has also steadily decreased. ”

Pollster Köcher stressed that more and more people in Germany are worried about the consequences of increasing social inequality. That is one of the differences between personal concerns and those about social development. Concern about affordable housing has increased significantly. If 41 percent of those surveyed had expressed their concern in 2017, this would have been 62 percent this year.

While according to the report, 40 percent are worried about climate change, only 23 percent of those surveyed are afraid of natural disasters. The corresponding concern does not increase, said Köcher, although the disasters are the consequences of climate change.

Falling numbers and growing worries

In addition to the reduced social fears, there are fewer concerns about the misuse of personal data on the Internet, the pollster noted. “There is also less need for action by the state,” she said. That is different with the fear of crime. Here the personal feeling of threat of many Germans is consistently high.
According to the report, 67 percent of Germans surveyed fear that violence and crime will increase. IfD boss Köcher made it clear: “The crime statistics say otherwise. After that, the total number of offenses will decrease. ”
The opposite impression in the population has something to do with reporting certain crimes, she said. Examples include crimes against rescue workers or cases where people were pushed into a train. These incidents are very rare, but would worry many because they are so unpredictable and can affect anyone.

Organized crime, especially so-called clan crime, is also of great concern to the population. Two thirds of those questioned for the report think that the state is doing too little. According to the information, 70 percent believe that there are legal spaces in the Federal Republic in which the state no longer enforces law and order.

East Germans are more concerned about internal security

More than half (54 percent) expressed concern that there are many criminals among the refugees. About the same Many thought that the integration of immigrants could not succeed. Fear of extreme right-wing violence concerns 52 percent, according to the report. Half of the respondents fear terrorist attacks in Germany.

According to pollster Köcher, there are clear differences in concerns in West and East:

“In East Germany, the population is increasingly concerned about the state of internal security and feels much less secure or not at all safe. As a West German, she also clearly has the impression that the security situation in her region is deteriorating. “

According to the report, almost three quarters of the West Germans surveyed feel safe to very safe. In the east, only 62 percent said so. More than a third of East Germans feel less or not at all safe.

Yes to video surveillance with facial recognition

When presenting the report, the authors pointed out that many agree to government measures in the area of ​​internal security. According to Köcher, this has to do with the fact that, contrary to statistics, a majority believes that crimes will increase.

That is why there is, among other things, a “very large majority” for video surveillance of public places with automatic face recognition. According to the security report, they welcome 78 percent of those surveyed, despite the public debates about this surveillance and the associated dangers.


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