Tuesday 15 June 2021

Asylum seeker crime figures involved just one death, ex minister says

Photo: Depositphotos.com

There was just one death in the Netherlands last year involving people living in refugee centres, junior justice minister Mark Harbers said, prior to his resignation on Tuesday evening.

Harbers stepped down after it emerged reports of serious crimes involving asylum seekers had been ‘hidden’ under the heading ‘other’ in a government report.

The figures – including 31 reports of attempted murder and four of rape – have been used by far right parties in their campaigns for an end to immigration in the run up to the European elections on Thursday.

The figures show that police were alerted 4,600 times to potential crimes involving asylum seekers living at the country’s string of refugee centres.

However, just 2,610 of the registered cases, involving 2,710 asylum seekers, were actually investigated. Of those cases, 12% were not prosecuted, a similar number were dealt with by a fine and 72% went to court. In 93% of those cases – 1,748 in total – was there a conviction.

The figures as currently presented do not show how many asylum seekers were convicted of serious crimes, such as rape and sexual assault.

The figures also show that ‘fake’ asylum seekers who come from so-called safe countries, namely Morocco and Algeria, were responsible for almost half the 4,600 incidents reported to the police.

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