Federal police at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA.
The Federal Police reported on Friday that the number of crimes increased last year by 31.6 percent, mostly due to violations of immigration laws amid the influx of refugees into the country.
The Federal Police recorded 436,387 crimes last year, which was an increase of nearly one-third on 2014.
The figures only include crimes recorded by the federal police, who are mainly responsible for securing borders and transit hubs like train stations and airports, and do not include crimes recorded by local police.
The biggest increase in crimes was in categories pertaining to immigration - violations of residency, asylum and freedom of movement laws. These made up nearly 40 percent of all crimes, or 171,477 cases, and an increase of 151.6 percent over 2014.
The next largest increase was in the number thefts, going up about 12 percent to 57,146 crimes. Most thefts took place in trains or at train stations.
The only other area that saw an increase was in fare-dodging and forgery at 2 percent more than 2014.
In all other areas, crime decreased: assault fell by 9.3 percent and property damage, including graffiti, fell by 6.3 percent.
The federal police also registered 865.374 immigrants who had entered Germany illegally last year. September 12th of 2015 had the highest number of illegal entries recorded at around 14,000 people.
Most of those who entered the country without prior permission were from Syria at nearly 74,000 people, followed by citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq. Between 2014 and 2015, there was a more than 400 percent increase in Syrians illegally entering the country, and a more than 2,000 percent increase in Iraqis.
There was also a large increase in people from Iran entering the country, at a more than 1,000 percent rise over 2014.
Under the UN convention on refugees
, countries are not to impose penalties on people who enter illegally if they are “coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened… provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence”.
Most people who entered the country illegally did so over the Austrian border, at 81 percent of all cases. Five percent of immigrants travelling illegally came through airports.
The number of deportations that the police force counted also increased to 22,369, compared to 13,851 people deported in 2014.
More work for federal police amid terror concerns
Police also reported on the working conditions of officers in 2015. Due to heightened terror concerns, federal police together worked around 2.9 million hours of overtime.
The report explained that this was due to terror attacks in Paris in January and November of last year, as well as in Copenhagen last February.
"The year 2015 for the federal police was not only characterized by the straining immigration situation, but also by to the terrorist attacks in our neighbouring states."