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increase in violent crime: more refugees than perpetrators and victims

Posted by patinella at 2020-02-27

A new study from Lower Saxony explains how refugees should be responsible for the rise in violent crime in Germany. What is the situation in Brandenburg and Saxony?

A refugee sits in a tent at the International Youth Night Camp at Kapuzinerwoodzl in his bed. Photo: Tobias Hase `1244dpa

A Syrian minor is on trial in Cottbus for murdering a pensioner. A Syrian hairdresser is being negotiated because he attacked his boss in Herzberg. Another trial at the county court starts next week. A Syrian supposedly strangled his wife unconscious in Cottbus to kill her. For populists, this suffices as an argument: the refugees are to blame for the increasing violence in Germany. But is that really so? And if so, what are the reasons? The Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony has taken a closer look and carried out an investigation on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.

What have the researchers found out about Lower Saxons? In their investigation on violent crime, criminologists Dirk Baier, Christian Pfeiffer and Sren Kliem present figures for the federal state of Lower Saxony. They are limited to refugees who came to Lower Saxony in the years 2015 and 2016. For the years 2015 and 2016, police statistics show an increase in violent crime by 10.4 per cent. An analysis of the reported cases shows that the increase in 92 percent is due to refugees. Almost every eighth act of violence in the country is attributed to a migrant by the police.

What does the BKA say about the situation in Germany? The latest figures on crime and immigration are provided by the Federal Criminal Office (BKA). In October, it published a picture of crime in the context of immigration for the first half of 2017. Overall, therefore, from January to June 133 to 8197800 criminal offences involving at least one immigrant as a suspect were registered. This is a slight decrease compared to the previous year. However, these are provisional figures which should therefore be used with caution. The majority of the cases investigated are property and counterfeiting offences such as "transport compensation", i.e. black-market proceedings. Cruelty and crimes against personal freedom account for about a quarter of the cases investigated. However, immigrants are also often victims of acts of violence. In 46-100 cases, according to BKA, this was the case in the first half of 2017. In the area of brutality, in 81 percent of cases, refugees are both victims and perpetrators, physical injuries often occur in refugee shelters. In the area of the murder and killing of immigrants, the situation is as follows: in the case of 27 completed acts, thirty people were killed, including 20 immigrants, five German nationals, one EU national and three non-EU nationals.

What is the situation in Brandenburg? The latest crime figures for Brandenburg refer to the year 2016. Police crime statistics (PKS) show an increase in the incidence of roughness disputes by around ten percent for 2016. Crimes against life, on the other hand, dropped by fifteen percent. Overall, in Brandenburg 15 000 non-German suspects were identified, the majority of them for illegal residence. However, there was also a very high increase in non-German suspects in the case of bodily injury. They are therefore responsible for an 18-percent of all cases of violence 2016. The largest group of non-German suspects presented 2016 Poland (mainly due to car theft), followed by Syria and Russia.

What is the situation in Saxony? In Saxony, the PKS identifies non-German suspects for 2016 in one third of all cases. Violence and crimes against individuals have increased by ten per cent compared to the previous year. Of the 37000-year-old non-German suspects, the majority have violated the provisions of the Residence or Asylum Act. Among the non-German suspects were 8023 asylum seekers. In the area of bodily harm, the number of foreign suspects has tripled. However, the majority of the acts are still committed by German suspects. "Violent crime was not one of the preferred conflicts of non-German suspects," the PKS says.

What are the reasons for the rise? In their study, criminologists Dirk Baier, Christian Pfeiffer and Soren Kliem first referred to the general increase in refugee numbers, which also leads to a higher proportion of refugees in crime. However, this could not fully explain the increase. Other reasons, according to the study:

1. "In every country in the world, the male 14-to-30-year-olds are clearly over-represented in violent and sexual crimes," the study says. Since there are many young men among the refugees, the proportion of potential perpetrators is also higher here. It should be noted that the proportion of male refugees belonging to this age group of 14- to 30-year-olds differs greatly from the different groups of origin. It seems to be the higher the more dangerous and exhausting the escape route, the study said.

Three. Misrepresentation of masculinity: "The refugees come mainly from Muslim countries, which are characterised by male dominance. Representative surveys have shown that young male immigrants from such cultures have internalized so-called violence-legitimizing male standards to a much higher degree than the same-age Germans,"writes the authors of the study. A man who won't fight back is a coward. The study speaks of a "macho culture".

Four. The absence of women: an important aspect of the problem was also that refugees in Germany often lived in groups of men, without a partner, mother, sister or other female reference person, as the study says. "Everywhere, the lack of women" says criminologist Pfeiffer. This deficiency increases the risk that young men are "oriented towards violence-legitimising male standards", the study says. "The demand for a family resettlement is justified by the criminological reasons."

Five. The content of the display: In a dark field study, researchers from Lower Saxony have found that strange-looking people are shown more frequently. "The readiness to report victims of violence is about twice as high when victims and perpetrators have never met before or if they belong to different ethnic groups." On the other hand, migrants would report German perpetrators much less frequently than other perpetrators. "We suspect a general distrust of the police," said the study authors.

Six. The victims: not only among the perpetrators do refugees appear in police statistics, but they are also increasingly victims. Two thirds of the victims of refugee violence are foreigners themselves, they are the Lower Saxony survey. "In the case of the robberies, however, the police-registered victims were seventy per cent German. The study says that the perpetrators may have expected higher prey from them.

What are the consequences? In the ZDF, Study Leader Pfeiffer called for policy to draw conclusions from the analysis: "I think it is time to use the new coalition talks now for a new perspective in refugee policy, namely to invest a huge amount of money for a return programme. As a means of combating refugee violence, criminologists also call for better prevention. Among other things, there should be better offers, such as language courses, sport and internships, as well as care concepts for young refugees.

Roger Hofner, V.V.P.D. President of Brandenburg, called for a new study on the situation in refugee shelters in autumn at a meeting with scientists and aid organisations. "We need a precise survey of the conditions," said Hopner. 2014 There has already been such a study. A new one was overdue. In addition to violence, the security authorities are also concerned about possible Islamic threats. They are to be dealt with in the same way as right-wing extremism in the country: with repression, but also with prevention. That is all it takes to know the exact situation.

Heinz-Joachim Lohmann, head of the Evangelical Academy in Berlin, also draws attention to another problem at the same meeting: "There is so far no victim counselling in the refugee shelters." This is precisely what would be needed if there were violence and other crimes there.