Reality Check: Are migrants driving crime in Germany?
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Reality Check: Are migrants driving crime in Germany?
Reality Check: Are migrants driving crime in Germany?

By Reality Check team
BBC News

The claim: The deputy leader of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) said there had been "447 killings and murders" by illegal migrants in Germany last year.

Reality Check verdict: The German interior ministry says that in fact last year 27 illegal migrants either committed or attempted to commit murder or manslaughter. The 447 figure refers to killings or attempted killings by all asylum seekers and refugees, most of whom are in Germany legally. Overall crime in Germany has fallen to the lowest level since 1992, but there has been an increase in migrant crime.

In the past couple of weeks, the east German town of Chemnitz has seen tensions flare over the issue of migrants and crime.

Protests by the far right began after two migrants, a Syrian and an Iraqi, were arrested after a 35-year-old German man was stabbed to death in a fight on 26 August.

The next day a counter-protest started, marked by a concert in the city, against violence and xenophobia.

Then, on 9 September, there were rival far-right and left-wing demonstrations in Köthen, also in eastern Germany, after a German man died in an incident involving Afghan men.

Since Europe's huge 2015 influx of migrants and refugees more than 1.5 million asylum seekers have entered Germany. In that time, anti-migrant rhetoric has increased and so has support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

AfD deputy leader Beatrix von Storch told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We've got 447 killings and murders by illegal migrants in the last year."

Is she right?
According to Germany's Interior Ministry, 27 illegal migrants either committed or attempted to commit murder or manslaughter in 2017.

The 447 figure used by AfD actually refers to all asylum seekers and refugees, most of whom are in Germany legally.

Overall this group was 15% of the total 2,971 suspects linked to these crimes in Germany last year.

German crime rates
Bar a blip in the mid-2000s, overall crime has been decreasing in Germany since the early 1990s.

But that changed in 2015 - about the same time hundreds of thousands of refugees began entering the country.

In 2014, there were 6.1 million offences recorded by the police. By 2016, this had risen to 6.4 million - these figures include immigration violations which, inevitably, impact migrants.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45419466

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2019 Jul 20 12:39
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