• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Opinion: Crime among refugees
Even police can be idiots and incendiaries
Police voices have been increasingly loud since the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Photo: DPA

Even police can be idiots and incendiaries

The Local · 20 Jan 2016, 12:13

Published: 20 Jan 2016 12:13 GMT+01:00

Of course it doesn't immediately make you a far-right agitator or a Nazi to criticize the asylum policy of the federal government or the European Union. But, as so often, it's not about whether you criticize, but how you do it.

Current refugee numbers are making an ever-larger part of the German population utterly afraid. This fear is mostly vague and only rarely really justified – but we should not and must not ignore these concerns.

We have to confront these fears realistically and in terms of their content. To form your own opinion, you need transparent and neutral information. This is where the various media outlets play a decisive role.

But some are doing less and less to live up to this role, reporting in a one-sided, skewed way. It's becoming difficult for consumers to extract the real informational content. At the same time, untruths are being purposefully spread by the far-right, which spread quickly thanks to social media.

Crime happens in the best families

It's also unhelpful when police union representatives adopt the mantle of "speaking the truth", starting political fires by "finally saying out loud what the lying press is keeping from us."

Asylum seekers commit crimes too? What a surprise. This phenomenon is called ubiquity, and it happens in the best families. There are fights between different groups? How astonishing!

Refugee accommodation in the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin. Photo: DPA

If you were to squeeze 1,500 Franconians and 1,500 Upper Bavarians – i.e., two foreign cultures – into an empty hardware store without any kind of privacy and consign them to doing nothing for weeks, then within a very short time there would be tensions and fisticuffs.

There are some cases of sexual assaults? How surprising, if you pen up 80 women and girls together with 2,500 mostly young men in very tight quarters. That makes every trip to the shower a run through the gauntlet.

When does one become a criminal?

These questions are straight from the first semester of criminology: When does a person become a criminal? What are the causes of deviant behaviour? Anyone who works in the police should know the answers to these questions.

Police watch over the Reeperbahn party district in Hamburg in early January after reports of sexual assaults by foreigners there. Photo: DPA

So are some of these self-appointed police representatives really speaking the truth, or are they speaking ignorance? Or – even worse – speaking out of premeditated malice, because they themselves have already formed a judgement on the matter?

At the moment, there is an increase in crimes, especially of property crimes committed by asylum seekers, which is serious and which can't be rationalized away.

Criminals are all individual cases

But even here we must always deal with the individual cases. Most of the perpetrators are people from north and west Africa, from the Caucasus and the Balkans.

These people have not really fled from war, nor are they persecuted in any way. They've used the opportunity now to travel into Germany and commit crimes.

It's the job of detectives to investigate these perpetrators and to deliver the appropriate punishment with the help of the justice system. For that, we need sufficient personnel and material resources.

There are already enough blithering idiots who claim to be speaking the truth but are in fact pouring oil on the fire of the far right and giving a leg-up to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), National Democratic Party (NPD), Pegida and so on – because they haven't thought things through.

Story continues below…

They aren't helping us make a single inch of progress as a society. They aren't part of the solution, but part of the problem.

 

André Schulz has been President of the Federation of German Detectives (BDK) since 2011.

He is a detective chief superintendent in Hamburg and teaches at the BDK's Detective Academy on subjects including cybercrime, organized crime, terrorism, extremism, and drugs policy.

This article originally appeared in German in Die Welt.

 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Dresden 'most woman-friendly’ city in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Sorry Berlin, you're not the most progressive city for women, according to a new report.

The future belongs to these 10 German regions
This east German city won the 'most improved' category. Photo: DPA

A new study shows that one city above all will dominate the future of Germany, but if you're canny you might still want to think about moving to Leipzig or Erfurt.

Fugitive ex-terrorists 'on huge crime spree' in north Germany
(L-r): ex-RAF members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: BKA

In their struggle against capitalism they once murdered businessmen and politicians. Now three ex-terrorists have taken to robbing supermarkets - and rather successfully, too.

Scooter singer finally reveals how much the fish cost
H.P. Baxxter. Photo: DPA

It is the question Germans have wanted to know the answer to for almost two decades - and now they have the answer, thanks to a US talkshow host.

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

Former MP Sebastian Edathy quit his job and left Germany after videos of naked children were found on his computer.

Weekend promises storms, humidity - and a bit of sun
A storm in Cuxhaven last weekend. Photo: DPA

The forecast for the coming days isn’t the pristine blue skies many of us are longing for. But, in among the storms, the sun will still peek out.

Prosecutors take aim at unedited Hitler book
An original edition of 'Mein Kampf' featuring a photo of Hitler on an inside cover. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating whether to bring charges against a publisher who has promised to print a version of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" without annotations.

VW bets on battery factory for electric car dominance
A VW logo is seen in front of a plugged-in electric car. Photo: DPA

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen is set to sink huge sums into building a factory for batteries to power its future electric cars, German media reported on Friday.

Raging ticket controller seizes Chinese traveler's passport
File photo of a plainclothes ticket controller. Photo: DPA.

Germany's national rail operator is in hot water after a ticket controller reacted aggressively to a newly arrived Chinese traveler who made one of the most basic transit mistakes: forgetting to stamp her ticket.

Berlin politician crusades for health of skateboarding dog
File photo: DPA

Can a canine enjoy skateboarding? That's the question Berlin politicians are struggling to address in a row over a dog on four wheels.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
Headless Lübeck corpse turns out to be discarded sex doll
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
7,862
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd