The number of xenophobic felonies is increasing.
The federal interior ministry announced yesterday (Tues) that police and prosecutors registered 580 breaches of law with xenophobic, far-right, racist, islamophobic and anti-Semitic background last year, 28 per cent more than in the previous year. The ministry – which is headed by People’s Party (ÖVP) official Johanna Mikl-Leitner – explained that 48.6 per cent of these crimes were clarified, which is a four per cent improvement compared to 2009.
Only a few days ago, a Lower Austrian man was sentenced to six months behind bars by a court in Wiener Neustadt for celebrating the birthday of late Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. The defendant, 54, was also found guilty of glorifying banned symbols like the swastika.
The report of the ministry of Mikl-Leitner – whose party cooperates with the Social Democrats (SPÖ) – also shows that the overall number of reported crimes was 535,745 in 2010, which is a 10-year low. Salzburg (minus 14 per cent) and Lower Austria (minus 12.9 per cent) registered the sharpest decreases of Austria’s nine provinces. Police in Vorarlberg managed to solve most of reported felonies (57.1 per cent) last year. Officers in Burgenland did second-best (53.8 per cent).
The annual crime report reveals that cases of corruption reported to the police and juridical officials rose by 12 per cent from 2009 to 2010. It also discloses that Austrians reported almost 4,000 possible child pornography and sex tourism crimes in 2010.
The announcement of this figure comes just days after reports that a man from Braunau in Upper Austria could be prosecuted for shipping child porn movies from Thailand to Austria. Police found 36 underage pornography DVDs at the 54-year-old man’s home.