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Hate crime rise in Germany 'alarming'

October 25, 2016

Hate crimes soared up by 77 percent in Germany last year compared to 2014, according to a recent report. The data published in the government's latest quality-of-life survey also note a 10 percent rise in burglaries.

Bombendrohung am Bahnhof Rastatt
Image: picture alliance/dpa/U.Deck

A 323-page report based on replies from 16,000 German citizens in a "good living" survey conducted in 2015 and supplemented with statistics was described by its authors on Tuesday as "alarming."

Crimes in which hatred was evident soared up by an "alarming" 77 percent compared to 2014, said the authors, according a preview carried by the Bavarian newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse."

In total 10,373 crimes involving expressions of hatred - on the grounds of political orientation, nationality, skin color or religion - were identified.

Anti-foreigner crimes amounted to 8,529 cases - an increase of 116 percent.

Hate crimes on the Internet rose 176 percent to 3,084 recorded cases.

'Negative record'

The report - to be tabled at a German cabinet session on Wednesday - noted what it termed a "negative record" since such statistics were first compiled in 2001.

Polizei in Heidenau
August, 2015: Protestors tried to block migrants in Heidenau, SaxonyImage: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Willnow

The Passau newspaper quoted the report's authors as saying the hate trend stood in contradiction to one of the main wishes expressed by many survey respondents - their desire for tolerance and respectful interactions between individuals.

Citizens also expected federal and regional authorities to do much more to tackle a rise in burglaries and thefts, the authors added, noting that little more than one quarter of such crimes were solved by police.

The clearance rate nationwide had fallen from 32.3 percent in 1998 to 27 percent last year.

Reported thefts in 2015 totaled 167,000 cases, a rise of 10 percent on 2014.

Ku Klux Klan active

Tuesday's alarm over hate crimes coincided with a separate report by Munich's "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ) newspaper that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), known especially in the USA, was active in Germany.

It quoted the federal government - in reply to a query by Germany's opposition Left party - as saying that four groups with "very small membership numbers" represented only a peripheral phenomena in Germany.

Left party politician Monika Renner warned that the government's diminutive assertion could not obscure the danger. In Germany's far-right scene, racism practiced by the KKK has an influential role, she said.

ipj/rs (KNA, dpa, AFP)