Despite an average decline in crime across Austria, foreigners now make up nearly half of the suspects in criminal cases, and more than half of suspects in the capital city of Vienna.
In the first six months of 2018, overall crime has declined by ten percent under the conservative-populist coalition government of the Austrian People’s Party and the Freedom Party.
What has become alarming to some is that foreigners now make up 40 percent of all criminal suspects in Austria, with the city of Vienna having the most foreign suspects at some 51.4 percent, reports Kronen Zeitung.
The number of reported murder cases has also risen from 33 last year to 34 during the same period in 2018.
Another crime that has gone up significantly has been the number of reported rapes. In the first six months of 2017, 261 rape cases were reported, compared to 374 this year — an increase of 43.3 percent.
Police say they are undecided whether or not the increase is largely due to more women coming forward or the signs of a worrying trend.
Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry headed by Freedom Party interior minister Herbert Kickl released figures showing a rise in the number of sexual assault and rape cases in 2017.
The largest foreign suspect group, Afghan nationals, rose from 64 suspects in 2014 to 263 in 2017.
In 2016, the number of migrant sex attacks had increased by a massive 133 percent.
Knife crime is also becoming a concern for Austrian police, who say the number of stabbings, especially during inter-ethnic conflicts, are becoming more and more common.
Earlier this year several high-profile stabbings, including one which involved an Afghan migrant attacking an Austrian family leaving a restaurant, shocked the Austrian public. The suspect in the case later confessed claiming he had been having a “bad day”.
The incidents led interior minister Kickl to declare he would look into reforming the asylum system in Austria, with figures released earlier this week showing the current government averaging 19 deportations per day.