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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Berlin: where to be scared

Berlin is quite a safe city - there's the odd bit of pick-pocketry, and the odd contretemps between members of various eastern European and / or Arabic "mafia" groupings, but despite - or maybe because of - the lack of conspicuous affluence compared to other major capitals, opportunistic, violent crime is fairly rare.

Extract Berlin crime map Nevertheless there are areas which are subjectively less safe, and as part of an EU study Berlin residents were asked how often they think about the possibility of becoming a victim of crime. The Berliner Zeitung has put the results on line as a map, which shows Berliners are pretty relaxed, with only about 12% (red areas) saying they think about this "often". About 25% said "occasionally", 38% "seldom", and 24% "not at all".

Interestingly, among the red areas are places one might expect, such as eastern Berlin's socialist housing estates, but also western Berlin's more affluent districts such as Zehlendorf, which aren't exactly infamous for high levels of crime. I suppose it's because where people have more to lose, they have more to - subjectively - worry about.

Update: another part of the study involved actual criminal statistics; view online here:

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