Mayor Says Parents Fear for Children After Migrant Centre Becomes Crime Hotspot

Police officers secure an area in the centre of Luebeck, northern Germany, where G7 foreign ministers will be received on April 14, 2015. The foreign ministers meet to discuss key global political and security issues ahead of a G7 summit to take place in June 2015 in southern Germany. The …

The mayor of a German city has said locals are afraid to let their children out alone because of growing criminality at an asylum seeker centre housing hundreds of migrants.

André Knapp, the mayor of the city of Suhl in Thuringia, said that locals are on edge due to the rampant criminality at a reception centre that currently hosts around 600 asylum seekers. Mr Knapp has also come out against suggestions that the city should take in even more migrants.

Police said that from January to mid-May there had been at least 200 reported crimes involving residents of the asylum home, Focus reports.

“Problems usually concern young men from North Africa, especially after excessive consumption of alcohol,” Knapp told the magazine. He mentioned particular concern for children walking through the city centre after a recent stabbing.

“Many people are critical of the recurring and sometimes increasing crime in the city centre,” the mayor said. “I get calls from parents who, in view of the most recent incident, a stabbing in broad daylight, are concerned about letting their children walk through the city centre alone.”

Knapp went on to criticise Thuringia’s leftist regional government, saying it had not provided the city with the needed personnel and framework to operate the home in a safe manner since it opened in 2014.

Earlier this year, rioting broke out at the asylum home after one of the migrants tested positive for the Wuhan virus and residents were forced to go into a 14-day quarantine. It took hundreds of police officers to quell the unrest.

The asylum home is not the first to be accused of becoming a base for criminals. Earlier this year, for example, accommodation in the Netherlands for supposed unaccompanied minors was reported as having become a shelter for criminal gangs from North Africa.

According to employees, many of the migrants claimed to be underage but were believed to have fake identity documents and were really adults. Other members of staff said they were labelled as racist if they shared their suspicions.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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