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Rise in refugee-related crimes lower than influx

Kate BradyFebruary 17, 2016

The Federal Criminal Police Agency says crimes committed by asylum-seekers have not risen significantly in proportion to the number of refugees. Sexual offenses accounted for 1 percent of refugee-related crimes.

German police
Image: Getty Images/J. Simon

Citing the latest findings from Germany's Federal Criminal Police Agency (BKA), on Wednesday the newspaper "Bild" reported that between 2014 and 2015, the number of crimes committed by refugees increased by 79 percent. Over the same period, however, the number of refugees in Germany increased by 440 percent.

The classified BKA report found that the "vast majority of asylum-seekers [commit] no offenses." Although the number of offenses initially increased significantly in the first half of 2015, the number of crimes in the second half of the year stagnated, the document added. It was in the second half of 2015, however, that most refugees arrived in Germany.

According to the report, 32 percent of the 208,344 crimes linked to refugees involved asset or fraud offenses, while theft accounted for another 33 percent. The proportion of sexual offenses made up less than 1 percent of refugee-related crimes, with 1,688 cases of sexual assault, including 458 cases of rape or sexual coercion.

According to the latest available figures, there were nearly 47,000 sexual offenses in Germany in 2014.

"Bild" reported, however, that the sexual assaults that took place in Cologne during the city's New Year's celebration were not included in the BKA report.

Those assaults sparked nationwide uproar, resulting in the removal of Cologne's police chief and leading to a heated debate about the integration of asylum-seekers.

Most of the attackers accused of 446 allegations of sexual assault and three instances of rape in Cologne had been described as being of Arab or North African origin. Later reports have shown that three refugees were among the men accused of sexual abuse crimes in Cologne.

Statistics from the states Bremen, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, were also missing from the BKA report.