Almost half of the individuals suspected of a recorded crime in Berlin last year were individuals who don’t have a German passport, the latest police statistics show.
The proportion of crimes carried out by immigrants rose to 45 per cent last year, a five per cent increase from 2015, when they comprised 40 per cent of crimes committed in the German capital.
According to Berliner Morgenpost, which reported on the data before a longer version of the city’s crime statistics is published, the figure includes tourists, and “traveling gangs” who specialise in burglaries and pickpocketing.
Foreigners were particularly overrepresented in the figures for certain crimes, according to the statistics, which showed non-German suspects in 91 per cent of pickpocketing offences, 85 per cent of crimes related to heroin trafficking, and 80 per cent of car thefts.
The newspaper noted that the data’s inclusion of immigration violations plays a part in the large contribution migrants appear to be making to the crime scene in Berlin, yet the proportion of foreign suspects still sits at 37 per cent when border violations are taken out of the equation — well out of proportion for the actual number of foreigners in the country.
According to police statistics released earlier this year, foreigners commit crime at three and a half times the rate of Germans, with the crime rate of asylum seekers around seven times that of Germans. For violent crime, the data showed foreigners commit five times more than Germans, and asylum seekers at a rate 15 times higher than people with German passports.
Despite the statistics, the left-wing coalition which governs the German capital claimed that “right-wing extremism” is the primary threat to Berliners’ safety, in a report published December, just two weeks before a truck attack at a Christmas market in the city claimed 12 lives.
The German Federal Police have previously stated that the huge influx of people who arrived at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis directly led to an increase in crime within their jurisdiction.
At the country’s federal elections on Sunday, voters expressed their opposition to the decision of Chancellor Angela Merkel to open Europe’s borders, propelling the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into the Bundestag for the first time.