The number of sex attacks by migrants has rapidly risen in Austria over the last year with statistics showing an increase of 133 per cent, an inquiry has revealed.
The anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) brought the statistics of migrant sex attacks to light in the Austrian parliament after making an inquiry to the Interior Ministry. According to the Interior Ministry report, “from January 1 to September 30, 2016, 91 asylum seekers were investigated as suspects” in rape cases – a 133 per cent increase from 2015, Kronen Zeitung reports.
The total number of rape allegations in Austria has gone down since 2015 from 688 suspects to 594 suspects. The number of incidents has also decreased in general from 826 to 674. But despite asylum seekers being a small fraction of the population in Austria, the statistics show that more than one in ten instances of rape, closer to one-fifth, are carried out by migrants.
The report also states that the vast majority of the migrants who are suspected of rape are of an Afghani origin with the number of Afghan suspects rising from 16 to 47. The number of Syrian rape suspects has also risen from three to 11.
Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka noted that the figures were too raw to make any real policy conclusions and said that they did not stand up to a scientific review because they were only quarterly or semi-annual statistics.
FPÖ deputy David Lasar, who made the initial inquiry, asked the interior minister what steps were being done to secure the safety of Austrians “due to the multitude of sexual assaults on women”. Sobotka replied to the FPÖ politician saying that police had been increased in certain urban hotspots as well as the deployment of plain clothes officers.
The number of migrants who have applied for asylum in Austria, by the Interior Ministry official statistics, has dropped to 34,657 from the nearly 89,000 who applied in 2015.
Some, like the FPÖ, have disputed the claim that less than the 37,000 migrant limit have come into the country. Earlier this year the party revealed that over 120,000 migrants had entered Austria’s borders, though many may have only passed through on their way to Germany and elsewhere.
Several of the rapes alleged to have been committed by migrants have made headlines in Austria over the last year. One of the most high-profile cases was the rape of a young boy at a swimming facility. The migrant responsible had his conviction for the crime overturned after a court said he likely didn’t know the boy was saying “no” at the time. He is set to be retried in the new year for the crime.
In another prominent case, a gang of nine migrants raped a German woman in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The men, aged 21 to 47, are said to have taken advantage of the girl on New Year’s Eve as she was severely intoxicated at the time.