The number of sexual assaults by asylum seekers recorded in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in 2016 close to doubled from the 2015 recorded figure.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the number of crimes of a sexual nature committed by asylum seekers in the state rose from 256 in 2015 to 482 in 2016, with the majority of offenders in this category hailing from Afghanistan and Syria.
The figures come after a traditional German festival in the state descended into chaos at the weekend as groups of young men — many of them migrants according to police — rioted, attacked officers, and launched sex attacks.
During its opening weekend on 15 and 16 July, nine sexual assaults were reported to have taken place at the folk fair in Schorndorf Castle, Baden-Württemberg, for which police were investigating suspects from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Clashes broke out on Sunday evening between two groups of youths with migration backgrounds, according to the festival organiser.
When police arrived, they were showered with glass bottles and had to equip protective clothing and call for reinforcements from neighbouring counties, while six police cars were vandalised and sprayed with graffiti.
“The level of violence faced by police was frightening,” said a force spokesman, adding: “What really struck us about the event was the aggression, which was completely unprecedented.”
Earlier in the week, police president Roland Eisele refused to disclose what proportion of the rampaging crowds were foreigners, and while police later insisted that some German youths were involved in the disorder, they admitted that a large share of the group were from “migrant backgrounds”.
“Schorndorf is a symbol of what is happening on a daily basis in many places in Germany,” said Jens Spahn, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party.
“It is becoming ever more clear how big the task of integration is. Too many people are of the opinion that every other culture is an enrichment. I do not feel that the everyday debasement that women experience is an enrichment,” he added.