Polish authorities have refused to comply with a request made by a Polish media outlet to break down the number of crimes committed in the country by nationality.
In January, the Kresy news outlet asked Polish police’s headquarters to answer how many foreign nationals broke the law in Poland last year and requested a breakdown of the crime figures by nationality.
The police responded by reporting that 138,789 people had been arrested and charged in Poland in 2022. Of this figure, 11,200 of cases involved foreign nationals.
The police, however, refused to publish statistics on the ethnicity and nationality of offenders, as they want to refrain from stigmatizing citizens of any particular country or creed.
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“When are we finally going to admit that we have a huge problem with young male migrants from archaic societies who don’t want to integrate? Silencing the problem means continuing to promote it.”
The news outlet reminded the police that data provided in 2018 showed that most of the arrest warrants issued by the police against foreign nationals involved Ukrainians. Out of the close to 4,000 arrest warrants issued, over 80 percent were to Ukrainian nationals.
The figures showed the number of warrants issued against Ukrainians rising sharply from just under 1,000 in 2016 to 3,253 in 2018.
Four years later, the total number of foreign nationals committing crimes has risen three-fold, but data on their nationality is no longer available. The police argue that they have bowed to requests from embassies and consulates of several states not to stigmatize citizens of specific states by releasing the figures on the national identity of suspects. They also argue that the police have no legal obligation to collect aggregated data on the nationality of suspects.
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It is worth recalling that such practices as the hiding of data on the nationality of criminals have been prevalent in some European states. In 2019, Sweden’s Goeteborgs-Posten newspaper alleged the country’s justice ministry had been manipulating statistics to hide the scale of criminality among the immigrant population.
The Dagens Nyheter newspaper alleged as early as 2016 that police in Sweden were concealing instances of women being molested by migrants. In 2017, Orebro Peter Spingare, a retiring policeman, revealed that most of the cases he was handling involved migrants, which led the country’s then-prime minister, Stefan Lofven, to declare Spingare’s perspective as being false.
In 2017, police in the Swiss city of Zurich announced it was going to cease publishing information on the nationality of suspects as such a practice was “discriminatory and improper.”