Migrants in Germany have committed 142,500 crimes in just six months, police figures have revealed.
This was the equivalent of 780 crimes a day – an increase of nearly 40 percent over 2015, according to data from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office.
It comes as German chancellor Angela Merkel remains under pressure over her open-door policy on immigration amid concerns over how to integrate 900,000 newcomers who arrived last year.
A separate report from late last year by the Federal Criminal Office found that migrants registered as living in Germany committed more than 200,000 crimes over the whole of 2015 with two-thirds involving theft counterfeiting and financial crimes.
According to the Gatestone Institute, an international policy council, police in some parts of the country fear they are being stretched to the limit amid climbing crime figures.
Their report said: ‘During the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,500 crimes, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office. This is equivalent to 780 crimes committed by migrants every day, an increase of nearly 40 per cent over 2015. The data includes only those crimes in which a suspect has been caught.
‘Migrant crime statistics for all of 2016, when they become available, are likely to show a significant increase over the 2015 numbers. One reason for this is that thousands of migrants who entered the country as ‘asylum seekers’ or ‘refugees’ have gone missing.’
The statistics emerged against a backdrop of rising tensions over Merkel’s liberal refugee policies.
The rightwing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) harnessed a wave of anger over the refugee influx to claim around 14 percent of the vote in Berlin state in September.
In October, thousands of protesters massed in the eastern German city of Dresden to mark the second anniversary of the anti-migrant and Islamophobic movement Pegida.
Carrying flags bearing slogans like ‘Refugees not welcome’, the crowd chanted ‘Merkel must go’.
Earlier in the month, Pegida supporters sparked outrage when they heckled Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck during German reunification celebrations in Dresden.
No violence had broken out so far at the rally, police said, while independent research group Durchgezaehlt estimated turnout at between 6,500 and 8,500 people – far less than the 20,000 who joined the anniversary rally a year ago.
Pegida was forced to hold its anniversary gathering this year on Sunday rather than Monday – when it usually holds its rallies, because two public events aimed at countering the Islamophobia group had already reserved the space in Dresden’s old town.
Saxony, of which Dresden is the state capital, saw far-right hate crimes targeting shelters for asylum seekers rise to 106 in 2015, with another 50 recorded in the first half of this year.