Swastika daubed on refugee accommodation in
A swastika daubed on refugee accommodation near Nuremberg, GermanyGetty

Far-right violence almost doubled in Germany in 2015, according to government figures.

Interior Ministry figures obtained by Linke party politician Petra Pau show authorities recorded 13,846 far-right criminal offences in 2015, an increase of 3,305 on the previous year's total.

The total is expected to rise in May when final figures for 2015 are released, with cases from that year still being submitted.

"Experience shows that those numbers double again after the national police and the state police authorities hand in additional numbers," Pau told German press agency DPA.

Among the incidents were 921 involving violence, almost double the 496 recorded in 2014.

In recent months, German far-right and anti-immigration groups have attempted to exploit growing unease about Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal immigration policies, which saw more than one million refugees and migrants enter Germany in 2015.

Rallies by far-right group Pegida have attracted tens of thousands of supporters in Dresden, and asylum shelters throughout the country have been attacked, with a live hand grenade which failed to explode hurled at a shelter in south-western Germany in January.

Pau told the agency the surge in crime was linked with the immigration crisis.

"The institutions of the state and the civil society are overwhelmed, and everywhere where gaps emerge, Nazis fill in and instrumentalize the situation," she said.