In the midst of a surging refugee population in Europe and sometimes violent tensions between the majority-Muslim newcomers and skeptical Europeans, over 3,000 crimes were committed against refugees in Germany last year, according to a report from the country’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).
Most of these attacks — approximately 2,400 — targeted refugees outside of their homes in 2016,and 970 crimes were committed against asylum homes. The number of attacks on refugee homes actually decreased since 2015, when the BKA reported 1,031 home attacks. It’s impossible to compare the overall number of crimes against refugees, because the police office did not collect data for attacks against refugees outside of homes in 2015.
The number of attacks on asylum homes surged after 2014, when only 199 of such crimes were recorded. That’s consistent with rise of refugees over the past few years: In 2014, nearly 600,000 people filed asylum applications in the European Union, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2015, that number more than doubled to 1.3 million.
The number of attacks on refugees’ homes in Germany may have dropped slightly from 2015 to 2016, but the number of violent crimes actually increased. The number of assaults rose from 60 to 78, and the number of cases involving guns jumped from 31 to 57.
These statistics were released at a time when debates about migrants have spread worldwide; last weekend, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The purpose of the ban, Trump said, was to keep the U.S. safe from possible terrorist attacks.
Attacks against Muslims in the U.S have also been on the rise. Hate crimes against Muslims spiked from 2014 to 2015, according to FBI data released in November. There were 257 reports of assaults against Muslims in 2015 — a 67 percent increase from 2014. The number of physical assaults against Muslims rose from 56 to 91.
The FBI will not release 2016 hate crime statistics until later this year.