There are no comprehensive statistics available reflecting the situation on criminal violations in refugee camps in the country, which is connected to federal structure of Germany, where each federal state's police force reports to its own interior ministry, Reuters explains. To confound matters further, the federal states are responsible for managing accommodation for asylum seekers.
Police union chief Rainer Wendt believes that state authorities have played down the problem of women being assaulted in refugee camps and shelters, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“It is understandable that there is the desire to calm things down politically,” Wendt commented to Reuters, referring to the attempts of officials across the country to dispel 'rumors' regarding the dangers associated with taking in tens of thousands of migrants. “There is a lot of glossing over going on. But this doesn't represent reality,” he added.
In Hamburg, eight cases of sexual assault in refugee camps have been confirmed this year; there the, Green Party's spokesperson for refugee affairs Tuelin Akkoc sees that right-wing political groups may use such reports to play the xenophobia card and try to turn public opinion against refugees.
“That's no reason to sweep this issue under the carpet. Right now is the time for the authorities to raise their voices in order to prevent extremist groups from dominating the debate,” Akkoc told Reuters.
For now, the general line for German officials is to wage war against far-right groups by giving speeches in public. The aim is to disperse rumors circulating all over the country and around the social media regarding how dangerous migrants from Middle East are.
“The federal authorities are investigating these resolutely and often the rumors are not true,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. “There are things worthy of criticism. But there is no reason for a general suspicion of refugees,” he concluded.