Murder, rape? MPs want answers on asylum seeker crime figures


MPs from across the political spectrum have called on junior justice minister Mark Harbers to explain why police figures on call-outs involving asylum seekers did not specify there had been 31 allegations of murder and 79 suspected sex offences.

The figures were published earlier this week and showed ‘fake’ asylum seekers who come from so-called safe countries, namely Morocco and Algeria, were responsible for almost half the 4,600 incidents requiring police intervention.

While most cases involved shoplifting or pickpocketing, police also registered cases of physical abuse, threatening behaviour and a further 1,000 incidents listed as ‘other’.

The Telegraaf reported on Thursday morning this total included 79 potential sex crimes, including 47 cases of sexual assault, five allegations of child abuse and four alleged rapes plus a string of other violent offences.

A police spokesman told the Telegraaf on Thursday afternoon that the ministry had had the full figures for ‘several weeks’. The justice ministry said earlier that it had been provided with incomplete figures and Harbers has pledged to come up with a statement later on Thursday.

Not all the cases ended up in court and it is unclear from the reporting so far how many of the serious incidents were actually confirmed by officials and how many actually involved asylum seekers.

The Telegraaf said 1,710 cases made it to court, but there is no breakdown for what crimes or what the conviction rate was.

Christian Democrat MP Madeleine van Toorenburg said the minister should come clean as soon as possible. A pattern is emerging of hiding important information, she said, referring to an earlier report by a government scientific organisation which, she said, also included ‘a rose-tinted picture of the problems and the crime’.

She has called on the minister to come up with the full figures by next week.

In total 45 asylum seekers were told to leave the country because of criminal activities last year but this figure only applies to asylum seekers whose country of origin would entitle them to seek asylum, the report said.

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