Project Homepage: www.sicherheitsindikator.de/sicherheitsindikator/
In politics and media, crime and security are constantly in focus. Fear of terrorism, comprehensive surveillance of public spaces, and monitoring of communication channels are only a few of the many relevant issues in this field. These issues also matter on a personal level, as they affect personal feelings of security at home, out and about, as well as when surfing the net. Thus, issues of crime and security are prominent themes in political discourse.
From an academic perspective, these issues raise the important, yet not conclusively answered question, of whether, and if so how, security can be measured. The WISIND-Project addresses this question by constructing a comprehensive indicator that measures crime levels and threats to security in Germany. This indicator focuses on forms of crime directly affecting individuals. It is comprised of data drawn from multiple sources, including police crime statistics (PKS), media analysis, representative population surveys (conducted by DIW Berlin), and expert interviews.
WISIND aims to uncover both subjective and objective levels of threat in Germany through its newly established indicator. As part of this analysis, the WISIND team will conduct a systematic evaluation of various sectors of the security industry in Germany. Results of this evaluation factor into the category of protective actions. In this context, the WISIND project determines which protective services are provided by private companies and how large the demand is from residents, businesses, and public institutions.
It is worth highlighting that the project goal is neither to determine causal inferences nor causal relationships. Instead, the project seeks to provide scholars and decision-makers in politics, public administration, and economic sectors with reliable data on security in Germany and the threats to it, which can serve as the basis for future research. This is possible as WISIND tracks security threats over time and maps them over space. An interactive open-access online platform will be created in the future to depict the results of the project for different reporting years and to provide a database for further research and analysis.
WISIND is comprised of two project partners, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS), with Prof. Dr. Martin Kroh (DIW Berlin) coordinating the overall project.
BIGS is active in the sub-project surveying the security industry and in providing knowledge transfer. DIW Berlin is heading the sub-project that develops the conceptual foundations and methodology, as well as the data collection and evaluation. DIW Berlin is also responsible for communicating with stakeholders. A joint presentation of the research project can be found here. A compilation of the first project publications can be found here.
Unlike previous, rather macro-oriented approaches, the newly developed security indicator works twofold: crime as well as fear of crime is measured. Analyses thereof will be possible at different aggregate levels, ranging from district to Länder to federal level. Further explanatory factors are measured and refined on micro- (education, etc.), meso- (living environment, etc.), and macro-level (crime-related media coverage, etc.). In addition to socio-demographic, socio-geographic and socio-economic factors (especially factors facilitating crime), the WISIND project also provides data regarding crime-related regional media coverage as well as data regarding expenditures on security measures. Furthermore, analyses of social networks and Google Trends will provide information on societal communication patterns regarding crime and home affairs. Unlike other projects, WISIND’s focus is not limited to the state as a security provider; the project includes security contributions made by private industry.
We use data from publicly available sources, such as PKS, to evaluate crime rates throughout Germany as a starting point. In addition, WISIND provides added value by carrying out a survey of crime perceptions (incidents of victimization constitute perceptions in an objective sense; questions about fear of crime represent subjective perceptions). The survey will also cover additional offences, especially in relation to the internet. These survey results are central to the indicator and for the scientific community in general because Germany has not yet published official numbers with respect to cybercrime. These data sources are the foundation of the indicator’s objective component.
In order to construct an indicator regarding subjective fears of crime, further data is gathered through a telephone survey, survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), the European Social Survey (ESS), and analyses of social networks and Google Trends.
Measuring the security industry is achieved through comprehensive surveys of companies active in the market for civil security. More than 700 companies were initially interviewed as part of a telephone market survey, ranging from classic security firms to IT security service providers. Additional company data will be collected annually through online surveys.
Weighing individual forms of crime against each other is a prerequisite for composing a comprehensive indicator. We have chosen an innovative and transparent process to weigh different forms of crime in four different ways. First, established approaches in the literature on monetisation of crime; second, expert estimates (collected via online surveys); third, population survey (n=2,000); fourth, econometric data-driven estimation methods (Item Response Theory).
Complementing the statistics on crime and threat in Germany, there will be a quantitative analysis that evaluates the media culture regarding crime and home affairs. In this context, a newspaper analysis of news on crime and home affairs will shed light on regional differences in attitudes toward crime and home affairs. A systematic evaluation of such attitudes will contribute to subjective perceptions of crime because we will be able to analyse how subjective perceptions of crime may or may not translate into politics; how media reports may or may not form perceptions of threat; as well as how threats and crime are picked up and communicated by the media.
Mathias Bug (Co-Project Manager) studied Social Sciences at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen. He also spent time abroad at Universities in Prague, Czech Republic, and Christchurch, New Zealand. Afterwards, he worked at the Philipps-University of Marburg and the Universität der Bundeswehr München. He is focused on comparative policy analysis and interested in the fields of internal security, migration, internet policy, and federalism.
Kristina Meier (Research Associate) is a post-doc at the department of Development and Security at the DIW-Berlin. She finished her Ph.D. at the Georg-August University in Göttingen (supervisor: Prof. S. Klasen). She also completed the Ph.D.-programme of the Center for Statistics at the Georg-August University. Besides economics of security, her main research focus lies on econometric methods for impact evaluation, with applications mainly in the field of development economics.
Johannes Rieckmann (Research Associate) studied Economics and Business Studies in Bremen and Paris, specializing in International Economic Relations and Brand Management. He worked for management consultancies in Hamburg and Brussels ; and at the Chair of Development Economics of the University of Göttingen. In his PhD thesis he evaluated the impact of connection of Yemenite households to water infrastructure; as well as the impact of military and paramilitary conflict on domestic violence in Colombia. Besides academic teaching and thesis supervision, his responsibility comprised planning, preparing and conducting field work in Yemen. He joined the Department of Development and Security at the DIW Berlin in July 2013.
Eric van Um (Research Associate)
studied economics and political science at the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg and finished his post graduate studies (peace and conflict studies) at the University of Hamburg. Eric van Um worked at the COT Institue of Peace and Conflict Management in the Hague and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) in Hamburg. He wrote his doctoral thesis about rationality of terrorist groups at IFSH while his research focus includes issues of security policy, economics of security, political violence as well as political economy in general.
Nina Wald (PhD student)
Nina Wald is PhD student at the DIW Graduate Center. She received her Diploma in International Economics at Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen and spent two semesters at the Ponitificia Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile. During her studies she focused on international economics, econometrics and politics of Latin America. Her main research fields include economics of conflicts, international economics and development economics.
Martina Kraus (student research assistant)
Martina Kraus is a Master student at Free University Berlin. She received her Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Mannheim and studied one year at the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA. She worked at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research and the John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies. Her focus is political economy, international institutions, and globalization.
Jan-Lucas Schanze (student research assistant)
is a Master student at Free University Berlin. He received his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in economics at the University of Mannheim. He spent a semester abroad at Sciences Po, Paris, France. He worked at the department for comparative political behavioral studies at Mannheim University as well as taking part in a research project by Stanford University. His scientific interests are methods of empirical data analysis, political economy and comparative political analysis.
Bartosz Walenda (student research assistant)
Bartosz Walenda is a Master student at Potsdam University. Previously, he studied at University of Mannheim.
Press Release: 23rd March, 2015
Internet Crime in Germany higher than expected.
Based on the following publications: Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: WISIND Findings, Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: Distinct North-South Divide - Unified Measurement Methods Needed: Six Questions to Martin Kroh, Perceptions of Personal Security in Social Media and Search Engines: A Realistic Reflection of Actual Crime Rates?, „Regionale Kriminalitätsbelastung und Kriminalitätsfurcht – Befunde der WISIND-Studie“, „Sicherheitsempfinden in sozialen Medien und Suchmaschinen – ein realistisches Abbild der Kriminalitätsbelastung?“, „Analoge und digitale Unsicherheiten: Eine neue Perspektive auf Kriminalitätsfurcht“) und Tatort Internet: Kriminalität verursacht Bürgern Schäden in Milliardenhöhe.
Final Conference by the WISIND Project at DIW Berlin on March 23rd, 2015
Please view project details as well as the conference schedule here.
(Note: Conference language is German)
DIW discussion on Crime Statistics: "Dark Figure" Survey to correct police statistics.
Bug, Mathias / Kroh, Martin / Meier, Kristina. 2015. Regionale Kriminalitätsbelastung und Kriminalitätsfurcht: Befunde der WISIND-Studie. In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 259-269
Kroh, Martin. 2015. Starkes Nord-Süd-Gefälle bei Kriminalität – einheitliches Messverfahren wünschenswert: Sechs Fragen an Martin Kroh. In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 270
Rieckmann, Johannes / Schanze, Jan-Lucas. 2015. Sicherheitsempfinden in sozialen Medien und Suchmaschinen: ein realistisches Abbild der Kriminalitätsbelastung? In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 271-279
Bug, Mathias / Kraus, Martina / Walenda, Bartosz. 2015. Analoge und digitale Unsicherheiten: eine neue Perspektive auf Kriminalitätsfurcht. In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 280-287
van Um, Eric / Huch, Michael / Bug, Mathias. 2015. Lokale Kriminalitätsberichterstattung: Abbild oder Zerrspiegel von Kriminalität? In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 288-294
Rieckmann, Johannes / Kraus, Martina. 2015. Tatort Internet: Kriminalität verursacht Bürgern Schäden in Milliardenhöhe. In: DIW Wochenbericht 12/2015. S. 295-301
Bug, Mathias / Kroh, Martin / Meier, Kristina. 2015. Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: WISIND Findings. In: DIW Economic Bulletin 12 / 2015. Pp. 167-176
Kroh, Martin. 2015. Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: Distinct North-South Divide - Unified Measurement Methods Needed: Six Questions to Martin Kroh. In: DIW Economic Bulletin 12 / 2015. P. 177
Rieckmann, Johannes / Schanze, Jan-Lucas. 2015. Perceptions of Personal Security in Social Media and Search Engines: A Realistic Reflection of Actual Crime Rates? In: DIW Economic Bulletin 12 / 2015. P. 179-186
Bug, Mathias / Meier, Kristina. 2015. Aufbereitung der Kriminalstatistik zu einem aussagekräftigen Bedrohungsbild - Vorschläge der Berechnung. In: DIW Wochenbericht 3/2015. S. 27-35
Bug, Mathias. 2015. Dunkelfeldbefragung sollte die Polizeistatistik ergänzen: 8 Fragen an Mathias Bug. In: DIW Wochenbericht 3/2015. S. 36
Bug, Mathias / Meier, Kristina. 2015. How to Obtain a More Accurate Picture of Crime through Crime Statistics: Proposals and Methods. In: DIW Economic Bulletin 3 / 2015. Pp. 13-21
Bug, Mathias. 2015. Crime Statistics: “Dark Figure” Survey to Correct Police Statistics: Eight Questions to Mathias Bug. In: DIW Economic Bulletin 3 / 2015. P. 22
Bug, Mathias / van Um, Eric. 2014. Herausforderungen bei der Messung von Kriminalitätsfurcht. In: DIW Roundup 49/2014 (8 S.)
Bug, Mathias. 2014. Bevölkerungsvertrauen in digitalisierte Sicherheitspolitik. In: DIW Wochenbericht 34/2014. S. 783-791
Bug, Mathias, 2014. Vorratsdatenspeicherung wird kritisch beurteilt: Sieben Fragen an Mathias Bug. In: DIW Wochenbericht 34/2014. S. 792
Bug, Mathias / Meier, Kristina. 2014. Herausforderungen bei der Messung von Kriminalität. In: DIW Roundup 24/2014 (6 S.)
24. Nov. 2014: Mathias Bug, Kristina Meier, Johannes Rieckmann, Eric van Um "Presentation of the WISIND project and its current findings", Berlin, Development and Security Seminar
18.-19. Sept. 2014: Mathias Bug "Grand Coalition Parties and the AFD's All Level Challenge", Frankfurt/Oder, Workshop: "Shifting Borders of EU Internal Security"
24. Feb. 2014: Mathias Bug "Do New Digital Security Measures Overstretch States' Legitimacy? Why Citizens Accept or Reject Digital Surveillance", Berlin, Development and Security Seminar
22. Nov. 2013: Mathias Bug "A system of economic indicators to measure security and security industry in Germany", Pizza Seminar, BIGS Potsdam
Additional Conference Participation
16. Dec. 2014: Mathias Bug, "Grenzen im politischen Meinungskampf - Zum Umgang mit rassistischen Vorurteilen und Diskriminierungsideologien", Symposium der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Berlin
4.-5. Dec. 2014: Mathias Bug, Johannes Rieckmann, BMBF Workshop "Rights of civil security", Goettingen
12.-13. Nov. 2014: Mathias Bug, Johannes Rieckmann, Workshop "Sichere Gesellschaften: bridging the gap – von der Forschung zur Innovation", Brussels
07.-09. May 2014: Mathias Bug, Johannes Rieckmann, BMBF-Innovationsforum "Zivile Sicherheit", Café Moskau, Berlin
17.-18. Oct. 2013: Mathias Bug, Johannes Rieckmann, Workshop "Sichere Gesellschaften - Gesellschaftliche Aspekte der europäischen Sicherheitsforschung", Bibliotheca Solvay, Brussels
As well as further peer-to-peer interactions at other conferences (10th Annual Seminar on Composite Indicators; Conflict Research Society; Tinbergen; Peace and Security; etc.)
On this page we will keep you updated about future events.
Please view project details as well as the conference schedule here.
(Note: Conference language is German)
Please follow th link to the new project homepage to view the security indicator here.
(Note: Homepage Languages are English and German)
Please find the Press release here, based on the following publications: Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: WISIND Findings, Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: Distinct North-South Divide - Unified Measurement Methods Needed: Six Questions to Martin Kroh, Perceptions of Personal Security in Social Media and Search Engines: A Realistic Reflection of Actual Crime Rates?, „Regionale Kriminalitätsbelastung und Kriminalitätsfurcht – Befunde der WISIND-Studie“, „Sicherheitsempfinden in sozialen Medien und Suchmaschinen – ein realistisches Abbild der Kriminalitätsbelastung?“, „Analoge und digitale Unsicherheiten: Eine neue Perspektive auf Kriminalitätsfurcht“) und Tatort Internet: Kriminalität verursacht Bürgern Schäden in Milliardenhöhe.
Information Event for representatives of security authorities on the new security indicator by DIW Berlin as part ot the WISIND Project, 26th January 2015, DIW Berlin
DIW Berlin presents its security indicator which consists of different types of crime (primarily every day crime) on the federal, state and county level. The indicator allows for a broad perspective on the situation of crime in Germany and the feeling of security among its citizens. Long term trends since 2003 are depicted by a rump indicator.
Second Expert Workshop as part of the WISIND Project, 10-11th September 2014, DIW Berlin
"System of Economic Indicators to measure Security and the Security Economy in Germany"
Experts in the field of economics and security discussed methodology, data collection and analysis, as well as the components constituting the indicator. Joint workshop organized by DIW Berlin and BIGS Potsdam.
First Expert Workshop organized as part of the WISIND Project, November 28-29th 2013, DIW Berlin
The workshop's goal was to steer project planning for 2014; more specifically the collection of data on various crime fields for which there did not yet exist any reliable data sources. The discussion and focus centered on three main fields of expertise:
- Proposal of additional data sources for the indicator (fields of daily crime, violent crime, cyber crime and extremism/terrorism)
- Proposal for weighting different crime fields in order to develop the indicator
- Proposals to connect protection and threat
After the workshop, the concept for the indicator was adjusted and empirical methods were determined.
Third WISIND Workshop in Potsdam (Griebnitzsee) on June 28th, 2013
The third workshop of the project “The system of economic indicators to measure security and security provision in Germany” (WISIND) took place at the University of Potsdam. Among the participants were all the researchers involved in the project as well as invited guest. The meeting aimed at introducing the study “Die Sicherheitswirtschaft in Deutschland” of the project partner BIGS, which was published last week, as well as to discuss with experts, and based on the generated data, the possibilities of a panel survey to measure the German security industry. A very interesting and useful input for the project was given by Dr. Gießelmann of the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) of DIW Berlin who gave a talk on the usefulness and problems of panels. Besides the researchers, representatives of the German security industry were also present.
Second WISIND Workshop
The second WISIND Workshop on Security Indicators took place in Potsdam on 29 and 30 November 2012. At this workshop, the project members from DIW Berlin and BIGS discussed about theoretical models of measuring security, indicator construction and the possibilities of introducing a European-wide security indicator. Additionally, the team received valuable input for future work by the guest speakers, which included for example Ian Anthony (SIPRI), Carlos Sempere (ISDEFE) and Andreas Freytag (Fiedrich Schiller University Jena).
On 27 April 2012, the Kickoff-Workshop of the security indicator project WISIND took place at the University of Potsdam, Campus Griebnitzsee. This workshop consisted of a methodological part in the morning (How can we measure security?) and a practical part in the afternoon (How does the state actually measure protection and threat? How can we measure the contribution of the security industry?). Presenters included Michael Brzoska (Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik), Rüdiger Fiebig (Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut der Bundeswehr), Stefan Hornborstel (Institut für Forschungsinformation und Qualitätssicherung), Holger Mey (Cassidian), Friedrich Schneider (Johannes Kepler Universität Linz), and Carlos Martí Sempere (Ingenieria de Sistemas para la Defensa de España), among others.