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“Violence by immigrants against Germans is increasing” is not the kind of headline one would expect from a German quality newspaper. But on 10 April Die Welt, one of Germany’s leading outlets, went there. It further claims Germans are much more likely to become the victims of a crime committed by an immigrant, than the other way around. And it has a government report to back those claims up.

According to Die Welt, in 2018 1,025 million people in Germany were the victim of a limited selection of serious crimes. Ranging from murder to manslaughter, these also included crimes “with a sexual component” or where people had their personal freedom taken away. But there were also the cases with a “bodily impact“, such as robbery and physical abuse.

In the case of 102.000 victims, an immigrant was involved – an increase of 7% over 2017. Die Welt concludes that almost 10% of victims were victimised by someone fitting the ‘immigrant’-classification – while pointing out that these were only those cases in which a perpetrator was found and convicted in 2018.

Worryingly, German crimes against migrants also seems to be on the rise: “According to this study, last year 8,455 asylum seekers and refugees were the victims of a criminal offense by a German suspect; that was also significantly more (24 percent) than in 2017.

These figures are from a report by the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA: Federal Criminal Police Office), which coordinates between Federal and State police forces, and is responsible for investigating certain types of crime and operates in a manner which could perhaps best be compared to the FBI for general recognition. It also publishes reports on the state of affairs, as it did with its Bundeslagebild Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung 2018 (National Situation of Crime in the Context of Immigration 2018).

The BKA report starts with explaining its aim: to describe the effects of the “wave of refugees” since 2015 on the development of crime in 2018. It bases itself on the statistics provided by the Police Crime Statistics (PKS), using only cases that have been solved.

The BKA notes that due to changes in the way migration is registered, direct comparison between statistics from before and after 2017 us “not useful“.

The report further states that crimes committed in, or directly around refugee centers and immigration shelters are not included and finishes off by explaining that it registers crimes solved in 2018. The BKA explicitly remarks that 25% of the crimes in its report were committed in 2017 or before.

One example of past crime being registered in 2018 is mentioned by Die Welt:

“Decisive for the clear rise [in number of victims] is that the 81 German victims of the islamist attack on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz in December 2016 were first registered in the PKS in 2018.”

The report continues by carefully noting the decrease in the number of immigrants, but the more interesting figures are probably on the composition of the immigrant influx. The majority (65%) is male, over the age of 21 (53%), with 73% being under the age of 30.

Asylum-seekers 2015-2018 split by sex and age group: dark blue for male, light blue for female. Source: BKA

While the BKA report goes into far greater detail, the general trend as described by the article in Die Welt pans out. Immigrants have a share in serious crimes of up to 15% (for “crimes against life“). Furthermore, the report also shows that the share of non-German suspects is more than three times as large, slightly growing to 30.5% of all suspects.

Suspects 2018/2017: total, of which non-German, of which asylum-seekers. Source: BKA

Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming percentage of suspected immigrants is male (86%) and under 30 (65%):

Number of asylum-seekers suspected of a crime in 2018,
split by sex and age group: dark blue for male, light blue for female. Source: BKA

In the age group 18-30, immigrants are clearly overrepresented (53% against 33% of total), with only the over 40’s under-represented (13% against 34% of total). Every third suspected immigrant has committed more than one crime:

Suspected migrants: those suspected of more than one act for 2018/2017.
Source: BKA

There is a clear increase in drug-related crimes (+25%), violent crime (+3,1%) and crimes with a sexual component (+15%) committed by immigrants.

It would seem Die Welt pretty much just reported the conclusions of the BKA report. In about 1 in 10 solved crimes, an immigrant was a suspect. They were overrepresented in violent crimes, including murder, and crimes with a sexual component. Immigrant participation in drugs-related crime grew strongest in 2018. The BKA does not make any predictions about the future.