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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, November 07, 2016

Migrant Crime in Germany

It is said that right wing sources like the Gatestone Institute and Breitbart are peddling distorted - or even madeup - stories about the migrant crisis in Europe and its impact.

For example, the former has an article titled German Streets Descend into Lawlessness.

I was also at a talk on Saturday on Europe's Migrant Crisis where half-truths were peddled. For example immigrants committing less crimes than locals; while this is true in general it may not be true about the European Migrant Crisis.

So I decided to look at primary sources: crime statistics from the Bundesministerium des Innern (German Federal Ministry of the Interior).

Helpfully, the article above links to the reports, which is something I greatly appreciate - Gatestone and especially Breitbart meticulously document their sources, making it easier for people to fact check and verify their claims.

Now, I don't speak German, so if there're any mistakes I apologise. But I trust that Google Translate is accurate enough for our purposes.

So, according to the Bundesministerium des Innern's (BMI, or Federal Ministry of the Interior) Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik 2015 (Police criminal statistics 2015), in 2015, there were 6,330,649 crimes (Straftaten insgesamt aka Total criminal offenses) registered in Germany.

I note that of this 6.3 million, 1.3 million were Straßenkriminalität (road criminality - I thought these were traffic offences but they are actually things like bicycle theft, car robbery etc), 2.5 million were Diebstahlskriminalität insgesamt (Total theft criminality) and 966 thousand were Betrug insgesamt (overall fraud). Meanwhile 577 thousand were Sachbeschädigung (damage to property).

For simplicity, let us assume that the crime level for this year will be the same as in 2015 (as it more or less would if we assumed that the migrant influx has not increased the crime rate).

In the first half of 2016, BMI's Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung (Crime in the context of immigration) informs us that based on preliminary data, Flüchtlingen und Asylbegehrenden (refugees/asylum seekers, aka "migrants") were implicated in 142,500 criminal offences (this was a 36% decrease, but I can't tell when it's a decrease from). Doing a simple extrapolation for the whole year that'd be 285,000 criminal offences.

Of migrants' crimes in the first half of 2016, 30% were vermögens- und fälschungsdelikte (assets? and counterfeiting), 27% Diebstahlsdelikte (theft) and 23% rohheitsdelikte und straftaten gegen die persönliche freiheit (brutality and crime against personal freedom). It should noted that only 1.1% of crimes were classified as Straftaten gegen die sexuelle Selbstbestimmung (Crimes against sexual self-determination); despite these crimes grabbing the headlines (e.g. the Cologne attacks), they are relatively rare.

Assuming the number of crimes committed by migrants is proportional to their numbers, we would expect the migrant proportion of the population to be 4.5% or 3.69 million (given latest population estimates).

Yet, according to the criminality and immigration report, the Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for Migration and Migration) has only registered 1,314,158 asylum seekers since January 2015.

So they certainly seem to be over-represented in crime statistics by a factor of 3.

Note that even if we remove vermögens- und fälschungsdelikte (assets? and counterfeiting), migrants are still over-represented by a factor of 2 - even before removing the 571,749 cases of vermögens- und fälschungsdelikte in Germany as a whole in 2015.

(As an aside, the crime and immigration report also mentions that Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis were underrepresented and those from the Maghreb, Georgia, Balkans, Gambia, Nigeria and Somalia were overrepresented, and that left wingers continued to commit offences against the right wing, the police forces and politicians).

Of course, all this won't convince people who dismiss anything that appears on The Sun, The Mirror (which incidentally bills itself as "The intelligent tabloid. #madeuthink"), The Daily Express, the Daily Mail or Fox News as false (presumably they would insist the world were flat if these sources reported that it was round).

But then, fact-resistant humans "appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information... yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive".
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