Fact-check: Is Trump’s tweet that crime in Germany is ‘way up’ true? Unfounded

Crime in general has dropped in Germany -- contrary to what US President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter
AFP

Berlin (AFP) – US President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that “crime in Germany is way up” and implied migrants were responsible. However, Germany’s crime rate is at its lowest since 1992, according to official figures released last month.

WHAT ARE WE ARE VERIFYING?

Trump tweeted: “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

WHAT DO WE KNOW

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer released an official report in May showing that 2017 had the lowest number of crimes in the country since 1992.

The figures showed that police reported 5.76 million crimes in 2017, down five percent from the previous year. There were 6.54 million crimes reported in 1994.

In his tweet, Trump also suggests a correlation between an increase in crime and immigration. 

The figures tell a mixed story. 

In 2014, before more than a million migrants arrived in Germany, 6.08 million criminal acts were recorded — a higher rate than last year.

However crime figures rose slightly in 2015 and 2016, the period when the arrivals of migrants was at its peak.

What has changed? The proportion of foreigners suspected of committing crime has increased. 

The report said 28.7 percent of all crimes were by foreigners in 2014, rising to 40.4 percent in 2016 before falling back to nearly 35 percent last year.

Of the crimes committed by foreigners, the interior ministry specified that 27.9 percent were committed by foreigners from non-EU countries. 

That is 8.5 percent of the total number of crimes recorded in 2017, comparable to 8.6 percent in 2016.

WHAT CONCLUSION CAN BE DRAWN?

Crime in general has dropped in Germany — not increased — the opposite to what Trump tweeted.

However, the proportion of foreign crime has gone up. But this cannot be attributed specifically to the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have arrived since 2015.

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