Since 2011, Berlin police have been required to record whether a criminal suspect up to the age of 21 has a migrant background, even if he or she has a German passport. However, this important data point has been secretly abolished since Aug. 3, with this development only now coming to light.
There’s a good reason why Berlin’s left-wing government may not want this information to be available to the public. In recent years, approximately three-quarters of all suspects under the age of 21 arrested for serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, and assault have a migrant background. Only a quarter of suspects in this age group actually have parents who hold German citizenship.
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As early as the end of July, the Senate Department of the Interior of Berlin’s red-red-green Senate, considered one of the most left-wing state governments in Germany, secretly decreed “that the registration of migrant background should be stopped as soon as possible.” The police brass then informed all officers of this, according to German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Police used to be able to indicate the migrant background of those arrested with a simple click of a mouse, but this checkbox was disabled on Aug. 3.
Berlin’s police have argued that recording the ancestry of criminal perpetrators was important to understand how these young people became involved in crime. In addition, Berlin has been plagued with clan crime in recent years, including a number of high-profile murders. In fact, the city’s prosecutor in 2020 said that migrant clans are a key factor behind the city’s high crime rate. The police were better able to monitor these groups and understand their structures with accurate data about the migrant background of suspects.
However, Berlin’s left-wing government argued in a letter to the chief of police that abolishing this data was about “recognizing undesirable social developments such as poverty, unequal educational opportunities, and discrimination and taking preventive measures to counteract them.”
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As Remix News has previously reported, foreigners account for a massively disproportionate amount of serious crimes in Germany, including murders, rapes, and assaults, as is the case elsewhere in Europe. In Berlin alone, foreigners account for nearly half of all rapes despite making up only 19 percent of the population. This type of data has tended to support the arguments of more conservative parties, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD), which often resorts to crime data when making the case that Germany should severely restrict immigration levels.
The Berlin police union (GdP) remains adamantly opposed to abolishign this data point, with spokesman Benjamin Jendro actually claiming that removing this data will only strengthen “right-wing extremists.”
“Such a misunderstood tolerance is wind on the mills of right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists,” he said. He argues that the data is being used for specific crime-fighting purposes, saying, “We’re talking about people whose families sometimes have a connection to countries where patriarchal structures prevail and where there is a nostalgic image of women that contradicts that of a democratic constitutional state.”