In 2015, foreigners were responsible for 44 per cent of the Austria’s crime yet rather than highlighting this massive over-representation in criminality, Austria’s mainstream media chose instead to highlight violent and sexual crime committed by native Austrians.
Following the brutal rape of a ten year old boy in Vienna by an Iraqi migrant, the response to a parliamentary question from a member of anti mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) concerning “crime tourism” has allowed analysis of crime committed by foreign nationals for the first time.
The 2015 conviction statistics show that 29,439 criminal convictions overall were of Austrians and 23,609 were of foreigners. Of 6,734 drugs convictions last year, 45 per cent were foreigners and some 14 per cent from just one national group — Afghanistan.
Of violent crimes, 2,560 of the 7,826 people convicted were foreign — 33 per cent — as were 35 per cent of those convicted of sexual offences,and 103 of those convicted of sexual offences, Kurier reports.
Given that migrants make up a small but growing proportion of Austria’s population, that they account for 44 per cent of all crime suggests they are grossly overrepresented in crime statistics. There is no clear distinction between, for instance refugees and regular migrants in the statistics — labelling all “outlanders”, or foreigners.
Kurier spoke to sociologist Reinhard Kreissl who seems very relaxed about the report’s findings. Blaming “language problems, cultural conflicts and lack of conflict resolution skills” Reinhard says it’s fairly typical for young, male migrants, especially unaccompanied youths, to get into trouble with the police.
He rejected any connection between the increased frequency of sexual assaults and the sharp rise in migration Austria experienced last year, claiming that any additional fears are down to raised awareness after the mass sexual assaults in Cologne. Kreissl acknowledged, however, that he would not much want to be a young woman out alone late at night.
There is widespread dissatisfaction in Austria over the centre-right government’s handling of Europe’s migrant crisis. Last month’s elections saw the FPO’s Eurosceptic, anti-mass migration presidential candidate Norbert Hofer win the first round. On May 22nd Austrians will choose as their next leader from either the former aircraft engineer, who campaigns under the slogan “Austria First”, or his Green rival Alexander Van der Bellen.