It seems like an epoch away now, when Germany made headline news and went totally viral around the globe due to them opening their doors to the swathes of refugees fleeing warfare, poverty, and persecution. Many were pleased with this action, and showed solidarity with the Germanic generosity by spreading the message on their social media accounts, writing in to various media, and showing due care to those around them who were noticeably immigrants. There was also the flipped side of this attitude, where many felt Germany was taking a huge risk by accepting so many people fresh from their long journeys.
The fear was in part well placed, and history shows us that within the crowd there was of course a criminal element who had an intent or potential to develop intent to do harm. It's basic sociology that within any given group of people, chosen at random, there will be an element of criminality. The greater the number of people, the greater the chance of criminals being present, and increase numbers by an order of magnitude, the same effect filters down into the demographic. It was bound to happen, and deep down we all knew it. The difference was the humanitarian element, the liberal and very European viewpoint of innocent until proven guilty.
The moral question at play in this scenario is, is it right to pre-judge a person because of their situation? By common standards, any form of prejudice is considered wrong, but the statistics show that there is still cause for concern. It is clear that within any mass exodus of people, the emotional baggage comes with them. The traumas and cultural nervous points travel too, and this will undoubtedly manifest in the kind of support that is required to re-adjust individuals to normal society.
Policing will obviously play a vital role in the integration of new people into a lawful society, and when large numbers of new people arrive, the police will be involved in the considerate but forceful application of the rules when necessary. They hopefully will be quick to act when evidence suggests there is a threat. It has been seen though, in past events, that policing alone is not sufficient to stop the very small minority of new comers from committing a variety of crimes which range in seriousness. From petty theft to mass-murder, the effects have been devastating for many lives.
Many European nations took refugees, and their treatment has been variable from place to place. The famous humanitarian disaster at Calais and the Eastern borders which saw grotesque mistreatment of human beings, matched with sincere efforts to rehouse and transport others in countries such as Italy and Greece, it was Germany who continually made the headlines. There were many factors at play and a diverse talking point, the association of Germany with Nazism in the past made this act seem the ever more symbolic. What would people have said if Germany closed their doors to immigrants, like many other nations did? Would the old and buried ghosts resurrect to haunt the corridors of the tabloid press? Perhaps.
I want to conclude that there has clearly been a significant risk factor involved when taking in new people from places that have been struck by war and poverty. In our cosy homes we never get to experience the harsh reality of life in some of the world's tougher geographical situations. Because of this, we cannot begin to imagine some of the motivations and experiences that go into building some of the characters who want to make our land their home.
However, we are not afraid of a challenge and if they make it to Europe, it's clear they are not either. I seriously think that we owe everyone a chance, when the chance arises. Realistic input of new people has to happen, and the rules must be relaxed when the people arriving have suffered in their previous home. Germany set a great example, and the lessons learned are perhaps that it is not safe and it is not free sailing, but the world needs compassionate care to stand side by side with law and order. Both ideals require the consideration of all involved before any action is taken that could put people at risk, from either side of a fence.