An official annual report about crime in Germany has revealed a rapidly deteriorating security situation in the country marked by a dramatic increase in violent crime, including murder, rape and sexual assault.
The report also shows a direct link between the growing lawlessness in Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow in more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The report — Police Crime Statistics 2016 (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, PKS) — was compiled by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) and presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Berlin on April 24.
The number of non-German crime suspects (nichtdeutsche Tatverdächtige) legally residing in Germany jumped to 616,230 in 2016, up from 555,820 in 2015 — an increase of 11% — according to the report. Although non-Germans make up approximately 10% of the overall German population, they accounted for 30.5% of all crime suspects in the country in 2016, up from 27.6% in 2015.
In this year's report, the BKA created a separate subcategory called "migrants" (Zuwanderer) which encompasses a combination of refugees, pending asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.
According to the BKA, the number of migrant crime suspects (tatverdächtiger Zuwanderer) in Germany in 2016 jumped to 174,438 from 114,238 in 2015 — up 52.7%. Although "migrants" made up less than 2% of the German population in 2016, they accounted for 8.6% of all crime suspects in the country — up from 5.7% in 2015.
In terms of non-German crime suspects residing legally in Germany, Turks were the primary offenders in 2016, with 69,918 suspects, followed by Romanians, Poles, Syrians, Serbs, Italians, Afghans, Bulgarians, Iraqis, Albanians, Kosovars, Moroccans, Iranians and Algerians.
In terms of migrant crime suspects, Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Albanians, Algerians, Moroccans, Serbs, Iranians, Kosovars and Somalis.
Police in Bremen, Germany frisk a North African youth who is suspected of theft. (Image source: ZDF video screenshot)
The report's other findings include:
Violent crime surged in Germany in 2016. These include a 14.3% increase in murder and manslaughter, a 12.7% increase in rape and sexual assault and a 9.9% increase in aggravated assault. The BKA also recorded a 14.8% increase in weapons offenses and a 7.1% increase in drug offenses.
Non-German crime suspects committed 2,512 rapes and sexual assaults in Germany in 2016 — an average of seven a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Algerians, Moroccans, Eritreans, Nigerians and Albanians. German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the migrant rape problem for political reasons. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK).
Non-German crime suspects committed 11,525 robberies in Germany in 2016 — an average of 32 a day. Moroccans were the primary offenders, followed by Algerians, Syrians, Georgians, Tunisians, Albanians, Afghans, Serbs, Iraqis and Iranians.
Non-German crime suspects committed 56,252 aggravated assaults in 2016 — an average of 154 a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Moroccans, Algerians, Somalis, Albanians, Eritreans and Pakistanis.
Bavaria was the German state most affected by non-German criminality, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland, Bremen and Thüringen.
Berlin was the German city most affected by non-German criminality, followed by Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Bremen, Leipzig, Nürnberg, Essen, Duisburg, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Freiburg im Breisgau, Chemnitz, Aachen, Bielefeld, Wuppertal, Augsburg, Bonn, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Wiesbaden, Münster, Kiel, Halle, Krefeld, Braunschweig, Mainz, Lübeck, Mönchengladbach, Erfurt, Oberhausen, Magdeburg and Rostock.
The BKA also recorded 487,711 violations of German immigration laws (ausländerrechtliche Verstöße), up 21.1% from 402,741 violations in 2015. Nearly 250,000 migrants entered the country illegally in 2016, up 61.4% from 154,188 in 2015. More than 225,000 migrants were found living in the country illegally (Unerlaubter Aufenthalt) in 2016.
The new data contradicts claims made by the BKA in December 2016 — just four months before the current report — that migrant criminality was actually decreasing.
During a press conference in Berlin on April 24, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière admitted:
"The proportion of foreign suspects, and migrants in particular, is higher than the average for the general population. This cannot be sugarcoated. There is an overall rise in disrespect, violence and hate. Those who commit serious offenses here forfeit their right to stay here."
Separately, officials in Bavaria revealed that the number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees there increased by 58% in 2016. They accounted for 9.6% of all crimes committed in the state, up from 3.2% in 2015 and 1.8% in 2012. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis and Nigerians.
"The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants," said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.
At the same time, officials in Baden-Württemberg noted a 95.5% increase in the number of physical assaults involving at least one migrant in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Berlin Senate launched an inquiry into why migrants disproportionally appear as criminals in the city-state compared to Germans. In 2016, 40% of all crime suspects in the German capital were non-Germans.
None of this seems to be having an impact on the German elections set for September 24, 2017. Polls show that if the election for German chancellor were held today, Angela Merkel, who is largely responsible for the migration crisis, would be re-elected with 37% of the vote. Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate who has pledged to increase migration to Germany even further, would win 29% of the vote and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany would win 8%. For now, German voters appear to believe that the alternatives to Merkel are all worse.