A Few Sketchy Numbers About Migrant Crime in Germany

As I've pointed out many  times before, German police agencies do a terrible job of reporting crime statistics. In fact, they frequently do a non-existent job of reporting them, since many police reports about specific kinds of crime are kept secret. Only leaks allow the public to get a full picture of the level of crime in their society, something that should be a scandal.

German authorities are now actively hunting (g) for the cop who release the 'unfiltered' police reports about the mass sexual assaults in Cologne over New Year's Eve. I like to call this man or woman the German Edward Snowden. Perhaps Great Britain will offer asylum?

Even when police reports are leaked, the information they contain is often partial and poorly-sorted, making it near-impossible to derive reliable crime-rate statistics or to assess the genuine impact of various kinds of crime (crime by migrants, organized crime, etc.). Nevertheless, Soeren Kern at the neo-conservative weblog Gatestone Institute gives it a try. The upshot is there seems to be rather a lot of it, at least if you look at raw numbers:

Migrants committed 208,344 crimes in 2015, according to a confidential police report that was leaked to the German newspaper, Bild. This figure represents an 80% increase over 2014 and works out to around 570 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 23 crimes each hour, between January and December 2015.

The actual number of migrant crimes is far higher, however, because the report, produced by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA), includes only crimes that have been solved (aufgeklärten Straftaten). According to Statista, the German statistics agency, on average only around half of all crimes committed in Germany in any given year are solved (Aufklärungsquote). This implies that the actual number of crimes committed by migrants in 2015 may exceed 400,000.

Moreover, the report — "Crime in the Context of Immigration" (Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung) — includes data from only 13 of Germany's 16 federal states.

The report does not include crime data from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany and also the state with the largest number of migrants. North Rhine-Westphalia's biggest city is Cologne, where, on New Year's Eve, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants. It is not yet clear why those crimes were not included in the report.

The report also lacks crime data from Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, and Bremen, the second most populous city in Northern Germany.

Further, many crimes are simply not reported or are deliberately overlooked: political leaders across Germany have ordered police to turn a blind eye to crimes perpetrated by migrants, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.

According to the report, most of the crimes were committed by migrants from: Syria (24%), Albania (17%), Kosovo (14%), Serbia (11%), Afghanistan (11%), Iraq (9%), Eritrea (4%), Macedonia (4%), Pakistan (4%) and Nigeria (2%).

Most of the migrant crimes involved theft (Diebstahl): 85,035 incidents in 2015, nearly twice as many as in 2014 (44,793). Those were followed by property and forgery crimes (Vermögens- und Fälschungsdelikte): 52,167 incidents in 2015.

In addition, in 2015, migrants were involved in 36,010 reported cases of assault, battery and robbery (Rohheitsdelikte: Körperverletzung, Raub, räuberische Erpressung), roughly twice as many as in 2014 (18,678). There were also, in 2015, 28,712 reported incidents of fare evasion on public transportation (Beförderungserschleichung).

There were 1,688 reported sexual assaults against women and children, including 458 rapes or acts of sexual coercion (Vergewaltigungen oder sexuelle Nötigungshandlungen).

According to the report, migrants were accused of 240 attempted murders (Totschlagsversuch), in 2015, compared to 127 in 2014. In two-thirds of the cases, the perpetrators and victims were of the same nationality. There were 28 actual murders: migrants killed 27 other migrants, as well as one German.

Finally, the report said that 266 individuals were suspected of being jihadists posing as migrants; 80 of these were determined not to be jihadists; 186 cases are still being investigated. The infiltration of jihadists into the country, according to the report, is "a growing trend."

The report leaves far more questions than answers. It remains unclear, for example, how German police define the term "migrant" (Zuwanderer) when compiling crime statistics. Does this term refer only to those migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015, or to anyone with a migrant background?

If the report refers only to recently arrived migrants — Germany received just over one million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East in 2015 — this would imply that at least 20% of the migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 are criminals. But if the number of crimes committed by migrants is actually twice as high as the report states, then at least 40% of newly arrived migrants are criminals. Yet the report asserts: "The vast majority of asylum seekers are not involved in criminal activity."

2 thoughts on “A Few Sketchy Numbers About Migrant Crime in Germany

  1. Not sure how you’ve done your math to arrive at the statement about the implication of 20% or 40% of arrivals being criminals. We all know that some individuals can assume an outsized proportion of “productivity” in any situation. With enough one-man crime waves a small percentage of rotten imports can still account for impressive percentages of criminality.

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  2. One could reproach the press, politicians, and police for hiding the facts behind a wall of silence and distortion: “You never had the courage to acknowledge the truth.”

    However, pointing out the risk of inciting xenophobic violence, they would respond: “You never had the humanity to deny it.”

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