The total number of crimes recorded in Germany last year compared to 2015 did not change significantly, increasing from 6.33m cases to 6.37m, according to the country’s interior ministry. That’s a difference of less than 1%.
As reported by The Local, the frequency rate of crimes fell by about 0.5%, down from 7,797 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2015, to 7,755 crimes per 100,000 people in 2016.
And when excluding crimes that related to immigration policy violations (irregular stay or entry), the interior ministry report on April 24 said the overall number of crimes dropped by 0.7%
Ahead of the report, German media noted an increase in violent crime and a decrease in home break-ins in 2016. For instance, murder and homicide increased by 14.3%, while rape and sexual assault rose by 12.8%. As for home break-ins, the drop was 9.5%.
The interior ministry report also notes that more than one-third of non-German suspects were connected to violations such as entering or staying in the country illegally.
The overall number of non-German suspects investigated for crimes rose by 4.6%, and those without German citizenship made up 40% of total suspects.
Excluding immigration-related crimes, the largest group of non-German suspects were Turkish (11.3%), followed by Romanians (8.7%) and Polish (7.3%) and Syrians (6.3%).
In his presentation of the report, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the public should not place all refugees under suspicion. “We cannot allow all refugees living among us to be sweepingly put under suspicion,” he said, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“The vast majority live with us and adhere to our values and rules of a peaceful, democratic coexistence.”
The minister also stressed that the number of politically motivated crimes is on the rise. There was a 6.6% increase between 2015 and 2016.
“That is unacceptable,” said de Maizière, adding that the country had experienced increasing levels of disrespect, violence and hate.
According to The Local, one category which saw a dramatic increase was those classified as being motivated by ideologies that are “imported” from other countries (including those of jihadists and Islamic State supporters). There were more than 3,300 cases total last year, which was an increase of 66.5 percent on 2015. These cases were largely due to conflicts among Turks involving the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).