Police in Germany only fired 85 times at or in the vicinity of criminal suspects during the course of 2011, according to a government-commissioned report.

Statistics compiled by the German Police University show that German police officers fired a total of 49 warning shots and 36 shots aimed at individuals while pursuing suspects last year. From those incidents, 15 people were injured, and six were killed.

Those numbers are actually down from the previous year, when police expended 96 bullets in the line of duty, resulting in the death of seven suspects.

Germany, the EU's most populous member state, is home to over 80 million inhabitants.

It is worth noting that an additional 8812 bullets were employed in the handling of "dangerous, sick, or injured animals" (down 5% from 2010's 9336), but most of those situations involved "freeing animals from their suffering" following a traffic accident.

[Boing Boing, photo via AP]