Although Germany saw a slight decline in crime in 2021, foreign nationals last year were vastly overrepresented as suspects in cases involving theft, criminal violence, and sexual assault, continuing a phenomenon that’s been observable for well over a decade, newly published figures from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) have revealed.
Despite making up approximately 12% of the population, foreign nationals—that is to say those living in Germany with foreign passports—last year comprised 37.7% of suspects arrested for violent crimes such as assault, manslaughter, and murder, the Berlin-based newspaper Die Welt reports.
Regarding suspects implicated in the most serious of violent crimes such as manslaughter and murder, the proportion of foreign nationals was even higher, at 44% and 39%, respectively. Concerning more common violent crimes like serious and dangerous bodily injury, the percentage of foreign suspects stood at 37%.
Figures also revealed that foreign nationals, relative to their proportion of the population, were much more likely than German citizens to be suspects in crimes having to do with the distribution, acquisition, possession, and production of child pornography. While the BKA notes a total of 39,171 such cases in 2021, a 108.8 increase year over year, 23.5% of the suspects were listed as foreign nationals.
The phenomenon, unfortunately, also extends to theft, which despite dropping by 11.8% last year, saw 37.6% of suspects identified as nationals. Again, the same phenomenon was observed in the category of crimes against personal liberty, which include forced marriages, coercion, and threats, with 27.2% of suspects recorded as foreign nationals.
There is, however, an immense difference in the crime rates observed between different foreign communities. For example, while Germany hosts a considerable number of Japanese and Chinese nationals, those from these groups were found to be criminal suspects at far lower rates than were native German population. Conversely, among some 272,000 Afghan nationals living in Germany, the crime rates have been observed to be far higher than those witnessed among the German population.
In March, following an inquiry from the non-conformist, sovereignist AfD party, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office released figures which revealed the proportion of foreign suspects in sexual offense cases had risen from 35% to 42.44% between 2000 to 2020, with the vast majority of suspects having hailed from Turkey, Afghanistan, and Syria.
In the summer of 2021, the newspaper Junge Freiheit, citing figures from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), also noted that in the previous year the country averaged two gang rapes each day, with half of the suspects being non-German passport holders.
The same phenomenon has been observed and recorded across many Western European countries, including Austria, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy, and Finland, all of which have welcomed unprecedentedly large numbers of foreigners from alien cultures in the past decades.