Dutch junior minister resigns over misleading asylum-seekers crime report

EPA-EFE//BART MAAT

Netherlands Secretary of State of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Mark Harbers answers questions at the House of Representatives in The Hague, The Netherlands, 21 May 2019.

Dutch junior minister resigns over misleading asylum-seekers crime report


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Dutch junior Justice Minister Mark Harbers resigned on 21 May over a government report on crime by asylum seekers that were published last week and was widely condemned as misleading.

The report refers to crime by asylum seekers in The Netherlands in 2018 that included misdemeanours such as shoplifting and bike theft into separate categories. but grouped crimes including rape and murder under “other,” thereby underreporting them.

“Other” included 79 cases of potential sex crimes – including 47 sexual assault cases – 31 incidents of murder, five of child abuse, four alleged rapes and other violent offences, according to the daily Telegraaf. Overall, there were 1,000 “other” cases.

The majority of crimes reported were considered petty crimes, including pickpocketing, physical abuse, and intimidation.

Harbers admitted that the ministry had been warned not to come up with a top 10 crimes for which asylum seekers were suspects because that meant serious criminal cases would be hidden from the public.

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