After the apparently motiveless murder of a woman by an illegal migrant which shocked a nation, Austria considers getting tough on deportations of migrant criminals.
The murder of a cleaning lady by an illegal migrant in the early hours of the morning in Vienna last week has sent a shock wave through the Austrian establishment.
It was revealed that the perpetrator was a man with a long criminal history who was not only in the country illegally, but had been scheduled for deportation years before the murder took place. To prevent such a thing from ever happening again the government is now considering much harsher measures, Kurier reports.
Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka and Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter announced that they want to counter the huge rise in crime in Austria that followed the migrant crisis. Recent statistics have shown that while crime fell in 2014 and 2015, it is expected to have dramatically increased this year.
Konrad Kogler, Director of Public Security, has said that the rise in crime is especially prevalent in assaults, thefts, drug possession and trafficking, and criminal damage. He said, “over 60 percent of perpetrators are young men between the ages of 14 and 40”.
Mr Sobotka and Mr Brandstetter say they have three main focuses for dealing with the rise of migrant crime. The first will be detention until trial for crimes, where previously police would release criminals pending a potential court date.
Such changes will also affect migrants who are scheduled to be deported. As with the cases of the Kenyan who committed the Brunnenmarkt murder and the Gambian migrant who killed an American au pair earlier this year, both men were scheduled to be deported when they committed the murders.
The second pillar will be keeping better records of offenders. Currently in Austria only criminals sentenced to one year or more in prison have their DNA stored with police. The government would like to see mandatory DNA records kept of all offenders on file.
In addition, the government will be considering using similar methods employed by the police to cope with football hooligans by making them appear at police stations at regular times in order to keep track of potential criminals.
The final strategy will be what Justice Minister Brandsetter is calling a “deportation offensive” saying that overcrowded prisons should not be an excuse for arrest warrants not being issued.
He said he would like to see many European criminals sent back to their home countries to serve their sentences, rather than in Austria, noting that at present there are at least 600 Slovenians and 612 Serbs in Austrian prisons.
Mr Brandsetter made no mention of migrant criminals who come from outside of Europe, such as the many cases of migrants who have sexually assaulted women in train stations like Vienna’s Praterstern, or have been involved in mass brawls or inter-ethnic gang warfare.
The proposals to reform the system are to be looked at over the summer, though many in Austria wonder why these measures were not there in the first place.