In the latest development that is certain to raise the heat under Merkel's cabinet and may lead to even higher support for Germany's anti-immigrant AfD party, Reuters reports that migrants in Germany committed or tried to commit some 69,000 crimes in the first quarter of 2016, according to a police report "that could raise unease, especially among anti-immigrant groups, about Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal migrant policy."
The report from the BKA federal police showed that migrants from northern Africa, Georgia and Serbia were disproportionately represented among the suspects. Absolute numbers of crimes committed by Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis - the three biggest groups of asylum seekers in Germany - were high but given the proportion of migrants that they account for, their involvement in crimes was "clearly disproportionately low", the report said. In other words, just because there was so many of them, it is difficult to give a clear picture of the criminal recidivism resulting from the latest immigrant wave. The report gave no breakdown of the number of actual crimes and of would-be crimes, nor did it state what percentage the 69,000 figure represented with respect to the total number of crimes and would-be crimes committed in the first three months of 2016.
The silver lining: the report stated that the vast majority of migrants did not commit any crimes.
Still, the report, the first of its kind, is sure to prompt many question. It is the first time the BKA has published a report on crimes committed by migrants containing data from all of Germany's 16 states, so there is no comparable data.
The report showed that 29.2% of the crimes migrants committed or tried to commit in the first quarter were thefts, 28.3% were property or forgery offences and 23% offences such as bodily harm, robbery and unlawful detention. Drug-related offences accounted for 6.6% and sex crimes accounted for 1.1%.
In a widely publicized indicent in Cologne at New Year, hundreds of women said they were groped, assaulted and robbed, with police saying the suspects were mainly of North African and Arab appearance. Prosecutors said last week three Pakistani men seeking asylum in Germany were under investigation after dozens of women said they were sexually harassed at a music festival.
And in confirmation of the tit-for-tat nature of the escalation between the local population and immigrants, earlier today we learned that a large fire ripped through a refugee center housed in an exhibition hall in Dusseldorf on Tuesday. All 280 residents were thought to be safe, the fire service said. TV footage showed plumes of black smoke billowing into the air at the facility on the site of the west German city’s trade fair, Reuters said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.
As a reminder, there has been a record influx of more than a million migrants into Germany last year and concerns are now widespread about how Europe's largest economy will manage to integrate them and ensure security. Furthermore, should Turkey follow through with its blackmail of Europe and unleash more of the over 1 million refugees currently held behind its borders, it is assured that these number will spike in the coming months as another wave of foreign immigrants lands inside Germany.