June 14, 2024
Who's Afraid of Scandinavia's Crime Statistics?
Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts described by crime statistics, the problems are only going to become more intractable -- to the point where they might not be solvable at all.
Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts described by crime statistics, the problems are only going to become more intractable — to the point where they might not be solvable at all.

In Sweden, discussing who is behind the current crime epidemic in the country has long been taboo. Such a statistic has only been published twice by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ), in 1996 and in 2005. In 2005, when BRÅ published its last report on the subject, “Crime among people born in Sweden and abroad,” it contained the following note:

“Critics have argued that new results can be inflated, taken out of context and misinterpreted and lead to reinforcing ‘us and them’ thinking. There is every reason to take such risks seriously. However, BRÅ’s assessment is… that a knowledge-based picture of immigrant crime is better than one based on guesses and personal perceptions. The absence of current facts about the crime among the foreign-born and their children facilitates the creation and consolidation of myths. If crime is a problem in certain groups of the foreign-born, then the problems do not disappear unless you highlight them and speak openly about them. A correct picture of the extent and development of the problems should instead be the best basis for analyzing conditions and improving the ability of all residents to function well in Sweden, regardless of ethnic origin.”

Back then, apparently, the authorities still appreciated facts.

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