Behaviour rated by the police as criminal offences as well as all penal violations of the law are commonly known as "delinquency".
The Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik (German Uniform Crime Report) records the extent of this delinquency in Germany. However, those reports deal with police statistics on officially registered delinquencies only. Germany lacks – unlike other countries, the USA and Great Britain in particular – regular dark figures' surveys with uniform methodological standards. Population surveys are "new" instruments of criminology in order to obtain representative statements concerning the occurrence of victimisation within the population and thus to shed light on the dark field of unreported cases.
Topics of regular infas surveys within the scope of delinquency are:
- quantitative data collection of particular criminal offences or victims' situations,
- research for factors of becoming a victim,
- victim experience, fear of crime and subjective safety,
- general public's assessment of preventive measures and legislation.