Trump against Merkel: Who is right?

US President Trump took Germany once more as a bad model for immigration policy and claims on Twitter that the crime rate in Germany rises. German newspapers are upset and accuse him of manipulation and misinformation (german: Stern)

What is right now? Does the crime rate go up or is it on a historic low?

If Trump and Merkel were my children, I would say: you are both right. It is necessary at this point to have a closer look at the official crime statistics.

Here you find the development of the crime numbers on the official BKA homepage (german).

First: the total crime numbers in 2017 went down 10% since 2016

Second: there are some incredible decreases within the last 2-3 years and you can ask yourself if that can be true.

  • robberies on streets: the lowest numbers since 1990. Decrease from 21.349 in 2013 to 16.233 in 2017 (line 1667) while the percentage of foreigners increased from 32.3% to 40.2%
  • The numbers for trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation went down from 284 in 2016 to 71 in 2017 (line 2452)
  • professional trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation went down from 93 in 2016 to 8 in 2017 (percentage of foreigeners 94.4% – line 2491). Could it be that german authorities don’t accuse immigrants and throw those cases out of the statistics?
  • a fluctuation of numbers that has never happened before is the decrease of thefts from restaurants from 35.002 in 2016 to 29.472 in 2017 (line 2920)
  • numbers of load thefts reach an all-time low. Ask the shopkeepers in big towns and you will see that this is not true. They don’t tell the police about the thefts because the robbers stand in the shop again after they have been 2 hours at the police station. It just makes no sense to inform the police.

Third: If you look at the official numbers you find all-time highs of crime numbers like extortion on a sexual basis (line 6843), resistence to the state (in 2016 & 2017 – line 6873), domestic disturbances (line 6936), drug-related offenses (line 9987) and computer crime (line 11446). These are indeed frightening numbers.

As with many other questions the answer is not just yes or no. If people tell you what you should think, it is better to study the sources yourself and compare different views.

Merkel and Trump are mighty world leaders. Their interests are quite different and according to their interest they present their facts to the public.