Sex crimes committed by migrants in Germany have doubled in a single year, according to a new report.
Both the rate and number of offenses shot up as the country continues to struggle with the effects of Europe’s migrant crisis and Germany’s welcoming stance towards refugees.
A report issued by the German government, and based on official police statistics, said that in 2016 there were 3,404 sex crimes involving migrants (defined as refugees, asylum seekers or other recent arrivals with no right to be in Germany).
The figure in 2015 was 1,683, and has increased 102% in over the course of the year. It is more than five times higher than in 2012, when there were 645 such crimes.
The range of offences ranges from less serious sexual crimes up to rape.
They account for 9.1% of all sex crimes – out of all proportion to the size of the group compared to the general population.
According to analysis by the Gatestone Institute think tank, the most frequently recorded nationalities were Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, Iranian, Algerian and Moroccan.
It complained that a “lenient legal system” in Germany has seen offenders repeatedly released, in some cases to commit further crimes.
Critics have accused German police of failing to deal robustly with crime by migrants – and sometimes making efforts to cover it up.
The most salient example – the mass sex attacks in Cologne in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2016 – saw police initially describe the night as “peaceful”.
There was also extreme reluctance to comment on the nationality of attackers – apparently for fear of stirring up tensions around mass migration.