German Police Set Up ‘Migrant Crime Team’

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AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Police in the German city of Ludwigsburg have set up a ‘Migrant Crime Team’ due to the increase in crimes committed by asylum seekers in the region.

Migrant crime is on the rise in Germany with cases of violence, sexual assaults, and robbery being reported on a daily basis. One region in Germany has recognised the specific issue of migrant crime and has created a four-man police team to specifically target crime committed by asylum seekers.

The task force dubbed “Multiple Offender Immigrants” looks to use contacts in asylum homes and elsewhere to arrest criminal migrants, and have so far seen some success, reports local paper Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung.

The migrant crime team started operations in the small town of  Bietigheim-Bissingen outside of Ludwigsburg and already report three arrests made of migrants for various offences. A fourth suspect is still wanted by the police and has been issued a nationwide arrest warrant.

The migrants, who come from Algeria, Morocco, Somalia, and Georgia respectively, supplemented their asylum allowance by stealing expensive high-end electronics from residents’ homes.

According to a spokesman from the team, the migrants they deal with are often multiple offenders and more than not come from North Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Western Balkan states.

The Ludwigsburg police headquarters noted that there had been a substantial increase in migrant crime over the last year, and while they would not divulge exact numbers, it was enough to create a specific team to handle the issue.

Head of the Ludwigsburg police, Frank Rebholz, was quick to claim that the creation of the team shouldn’t be seen as a “criminalisation of asylum seekers”, though figures from the German Federal Police for 2015 showed a hugely disproportionate number of crimes committed by migrants last year across the country.

“We are concerned with intervening as early as possible in serious cases, anticipating emerging criminal structures, and working with judicial and immigration authorities to develop a comprehensive basis for decisions,” Mr. Rebholz said when describing why the team was formed.

The team also hopes that they will be able to work directly with both prosecutors and other police forces in order to speed up the process of deportation of migrant offenders.

Deportation, especially of migrants from North Africa, has been an arduous and expensive process for Germany as the costs of deporting a single migrant can cost up to €50,000, and many countries refuse to accept their citizens back.

German citizens and opposition political parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) have long complained that police have not taken migrant crime seriously due to political correctness. In the wake of the New Year’s Eve Cologne sex attacks, the police were accused of actively covering up the identities of the migrant attackers following orders from the government.