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Germany

German crime statistics reveal steep rise in violent and political crimes

Germany has recorded a significant rise in politically motivated crimes by foreigners, including jihadis. The report revealed that rise of migrant criminal suspects in Germany has soared by more than 50 percent.

Germany's latest police crime statistics report revealed that some 3,372 cases of politically or ideologically motivated crimes by foreigners were recorded in 2016 - a number up 66.5 percent compared to 2015. The overall number of politically driven crimes had also increased compared to the previous year, by 6.6 percent.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that these statistics - reaching 41,549 instances of such offences in 2016 - were shedding light on an "unacceptable" trend.

Thomas de Maizière Bundesinnenminister (Getty Images/S. Loos)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere did not mince his words, saying that foreigners committing crimes in Germany forfeit their right to stay

Germany was the target of a string of jihadi attacks in 2016, the deadliest being last December's assault on a Christmas market in Berlin, which saw 12 people killed. A Tunisian national had rammed a truck into the crowds gathered at the market. The attack was later claimed by the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terror organization.

Beyond jihadist attacks, however, Germany has also seen an increase in violence between minority communities of Turks and Kurds living in the country, with Turkey's social split over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule spilling over into Germany.

De Maiziere referred to the rise in crime as a "barometer of the overall (political) atmosphere," as threat levels remain high.

Rise in violent crime

The report, which was presented by de Maiziere in Berlin, also highlighted a considerable growth in murder and manslaughter and in rape and sexual assault cases. The statistics were up 14.3 percent and 12.8 percent from 2015, respectively. The numbers were, however, more dramatic among asylum seekers: crimes committed by refugees were up 52.7 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

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"There is nothing there to sugarcoat," de Maiziere said, while stressing that the majority of both foreign and German-born offenders in these categories were young men. "There is an overall rise in disrespect, violence, and hate," de Maiziere added.

"Those who commit serious offences here forfeit their right to stay here," Interior Minister de Maiziere announced. A report by the German Federal Office of Federal Investigation (BKA) published at the end of 2016 had claimed that migrant crime was decreasing.

The interior minister pointed out that the vast majority of refugees and other foreigners in Germany were leading respectable lives, adding that those that needed Germany's help the most, like Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country, were "underrepresented" in the violent crime statistics. More than a million migrants arrived in Germany in the last two years.

The number of break-ins and home invasions had meanwhile decreased, according to the report, by 9.5 per cent compared to 2015 - which had seen the largest number of break-ins since the 1990s.

ss/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

 

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