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CRIME

Favoriten is Vienna’s worst district for burglary

The number of burglaries in Vienna has generally decreased, although break-ins have risen in the 1st, 9th, 13th, 17th and 22nd districts.

Favoriten is Vienna's worst district for burglary
This man's Floridsdorf home has been broken into three times. Photo: WIFF

Statistics from the Interior Ministry showed that there were 39,472 burglaries in 2014 in the capital’s homes and businesses – equivalent to 108 per day (4743 less than in 2013).

Despite fewer break-ins in 2014, police had a lower crime clearance rate (down from 7.8 percent in 2013 to 6.9 percent).

The heavily populated 10th district (Favoriten) had the highest number of burglaries (4.080 in 2014), followed by Donaustadt (22nd district), with 3.440 break-ins, and Leopoldstadt (2nd district) with 3.239 break-ins.

The largest increase in burglaries (+368) was recorded in the 9th district, Alsergrund. Police in Favoriten solved the most burglaries (12.2 percent), whilst the most unsolved burglaries were in the 6th district, Mariahilf (3.5 percent).

Throughout Austria, 85,487 burglaries were reported in 2014, 3,216 fewer than in 2013. The clearance rate decreased from 10.6 percent in 2013 to 10 percent. The most break-ins and armed robberies were in Lower Austria (13,968), followed by Upper Austria (9,868) and then Vienna.

Austria-wide, 4,755 burglary suspects were Austrian citizens and 7,171 had a different nationality – the majority were Romanian (1,446), then Serbian (628), and Hungarian (578).


 

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CRIME

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a people smuggler to seven years in prison over the deaths of two Syrians who suffocated in the crammed minivan he was driving, Austria's news agency reported.

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

The bodies of the two men were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Thirty people in total were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene but was later arrested in Latvia and extradited.

The 19-year-old Latvian was found guilty of people smuggling and causing fatal injuries, but was not found guilty of murder, APA reported.

READ MORE: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

He said he would accept the verdict, but the prosecution can still appeal it, APA said.

A court spokeswoman could not immediately be reached by AFP. 

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of mostly Syrians, including the two found suffocated, from Hungary to Austria.

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, the ministry said.

Those smuggled, including children, were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

The October discovery of the dead men recalled a dire event in August 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border.

Almost four years later, the Hungarian courts sentenced their smugglers to life imprisonment.

The emotion aroused by that tragedy triggered a brief opening of the borders to hundreds of thousands of people wishing to reach Western Europe.

But Austria and other European countries have since fortified borders to stop people smuggling.

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