Is, at least according to preliminary knowledge, the wave of refugees leading to an increase in crime?
I’m happy for this question. Crime in the Czech Republic has been in continuous decline since 2008, with a fluctuation in 2013. The lowest number was in 2021 – more than 153,000 crimes. There will never be such a low number again. We must not forget that there was a pandemic which limited travel from abroad and travel between neighborhoods. The damage limit for property crimes was also changed at the end of 2020. Damage increased from five thousand to ten thousand, which actually reduced the volume of property crimes.
Three hundred thousand refugees have arrived in the Czech Republic from Ukraine. Some of them may become easy victims of mob circles. Can Russian agents reach us? Are the police prepared to deal with the rise in migration-related crime? Moderated by Vladimir Kroc
That is, please, the years 2021 and 2020 are incomparable. Let’s compare crime this year with 2019. In the first quarter of this year, we are below the crime level of 2019. So yes, there is an increase year over year, but let’s compare it with years which are comparable.
Now I come to strangers. Foreigners commit about 9.5% of solved crimes on our territory, and Ukrainian citizens 2.5%. Two or three years ago, the figures hardly changed. From now on, it will be really necessary to monitor over time whether the volume of crimes committed by foreigners or Ukrainian citizens changes drastically or not. We now have twice as many Ukrainian citizens. So naturally, of the group of people who came to us – I point out that out of 290,000, 77% are women, 40% are people under the age of 18 -, there will be people who will commit crimes.
But there must be no disparity in the historical comparison, and at least now, in the first few weeks, we are really registering case units. No dramatic increases, in any location or in any type of crime.
According to trade union leader Josef Středula, the mafia abuses refugees from Ukraine on a massive scale. How do the police handle this?
The police have a lot of experience in industrial areas – typically from Pilsen, Kvasin, Mladá Boleslav and Kolín. We know that there is usually room for stranger abuse between a stranger and an employer. Not all employment agencies operate in accordance with our laws. It’s a modus operandi that we know and have struggled with for a long time. I am convinced that nothing is happening now but that these agencies and those who wanted to profit from the work of foreigners in the Czech Republic have the opportunity to try again with the newly arrived refugees.
I am always terribly sorry when someone who is seen, who is active and who has an official position in social life makes such a statement without any proof. We then say: „PI’m telling you, so when you say it out loud, give us some information about what happened, where it happened, so we have something to grab onto. In other words, I will be very happy if all the people who have relevant information that this is happening in our country, they will call 158 and give the police a room to really check.
Crime has fallen again year after year. The number of crimes has decreased, but the damage has increased
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We check it today and every day. There are hundreds of these submissions, and we generally conclude that the submissions are not based on truth, and as information is passed down over time, there are a number of distortions. An hour ago, I checked with my deputy colleague from the criminal police if we had received Mr. Středula’s report, and we had not an hour ago. So please, before we say this out loud, let’s say some police specific information. It will be better for everyone.
How are the police reacting to the secret service’s warning that Russian agents could be among the new arrivals from Ukraine?
It should be noted that, according to the European border and coast guard Frontex, 4.7 million people officially left Ukraine as of midnight on Tuesday. These are statistics from the border crossings of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. We are therefore talking about a number that fluctuates around five million people. The Czech Republic is part of the Schengen area, which has advantages and disadvantages.
Czechia has already issued more than 270,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees. But their real number in the country will be higher
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One of the drawbacks is that the Czech Republic really has to rely on strict control when entering the Schengen area, which then no longer creates barriers to movement within this area. We have this responsibility at five international airports, where we have to be responsible for who we release to Schengen. In this case, however, we have to rely on our partners.
It was very difficult for them, and I believe the level of security checks at the entrance could not have been what it was in times of peace. So yes, it can bring this situation. We communicate quite intensively with the intelligence services on this subject. This partner is the national focal point for the fight against national organized crime, and we do everything we can to raise awareness of these people.
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