The Netherlands on Thursday saw the number of registered crimes—in which an asylum seeker was a suspect—grow by a quarter last year.
NL Times reported that the number of criminal refugees rose by 25% to nearly 5,000 from only 4,000 reported in the full year 2018, based on data from the Ministry of Justice and Security, although the latter said that the overview has yet to be completed but that data will be sent to the parliament by mid-May.
The number of asylum seekers in The Netherlands grew by 3% to 55,000 last year.
The ministry said that the increase in crimes with refugees as suspects can be attributed to police changing the way they record crimes.
In the new method, multiple crimes committed simultaneously are registered separately.
However, should the figures be corrected, figures reportedly will still increase by 22.4%.
The ministry’s overview said that the crimes mainly concern more minor offences, such as shoplifting, pickpocketing, and possession of the stolen property.
In 2019 alone, shoplifting incidents grew by a quarter to 2,100 as compared with 2018 while pickpocketing jumped by 50% to more than 300, and possession of stolen property increased by two-thirds to nearly 200.
Two incidents of manslaughter were registered during the year, or similar to the figures recorded in the comparable period, while the number of attempted murder increased by 25% to 30, and the number of rape cases doubled to 8.
The ministry said that 60% of suspected asylum seekers came from “safe” countries and stand a little chance of getting refugee status and a residency permit in the Netherlands.
Last year, State Secretary of Justice and Security stepped down from his post after coming under fire as serious offences such as child abuse, murder, and manslaughter were grouped under the ‘others’ category.
He was accused of trying to hide such serious offences.
“I am not only responsible in terms of the law, but I feel responsible,” Harbers told members of the parliament during a debate.
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