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Germany

Crimes against refugee centers in Germany down slightly in 2016

Just over 900 offenses have been committed against refugee homes in Germany in 2016, reflecting a 10 percent drop on last year. But some parliamentarians say the figures are still "frighteningly high."

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said up until December 27, out of the 921 reported offenses against refugee homes, 857 of them had a suspected far-right background. That compares to a total of 1,031 offenses in 2015, 923 of which were suspected of having a far-right background.

Investigators said most of the crimes were for damage to property including graffiti. But more than 150 cases involved violence against migrants.

The figures revealed 66 arson attacks (including an attack on a center in Hesse in August, seen above), down by almost a third on 2015, and four explosions, the number of which had halved compared to last year.

'One frighteningly high number'

Despite the decrease, members of the German parliament have urged more government action against extremist political groups who often carry out the attacks, at a rate that is almost four times higher than in 2014.

Bingen Hakenkreuz am Kellereingang (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Rumpenhorst)

A home for migrants in Bingen, in Rhineland-Palatinate, was tagged with graffiti in April

"That is one frighteningly high number," warned Eva Högl, the Social Democrat's (SPD) deputy parliamentary group leader and domestic security expert, in an interview with "Welt."

"The number of attacks in 2016 is striking," Irene Mihalic of the Green party told "Welt". "After such a terrible attack as one on the Christmas market in Berlin, we have a great responsibility in what we say publicly."

The number of migrants arriving in Germany has fallen significantly since its peak in 2015. Around 305,000 had registered for asylum in Germany by the end of November, compared to 890,000 last year, according to German government figures.

mm/cmk (dpa, EPD)

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