Europe

Germany sees "alarmingly high" number of anti-migrant crimes

The Sept. 23, 2016 shows a poster 'Refugees not welcome' sticked on a city sign in the outskirts of Nauen, eastern Germany, one of several thousand hate crimes in Germany in 2016. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop)

The Sept. 23, 2016 shows a poster 'Refugees not welcome' sticked on a city sign in the outskirts of Nauen, eastern Germany, one of several thousand hate crimes in Germany in 2016. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's Interior Ministry says a new report showing more than 3,500 attacks in 2016 on migrants and their homes is "alarmingly high and cause for concern" but says authorities are prosecuting the crimes aggressively and the numbers are now falling.

Most of the crimes were things like vandalism to asylum-seeker homes, including far-right graffiti, threats and slander but the report also included more serious attacks like arson, bodily harm and attempted murder. It was compiled by the Interior Ministry with information from Germany's 16 states.

Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth says Monday "there was a very wide spectrum of crimes ... every one is to be condemned."

Comparison figures for previous years haven't been compiled but Dimroth said after 2016 the "trend is downward ... which gives us a little bit of hope."