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HomeCrime and JusticeDecrease in Reported Hate Crimes in Sweden: A Thorough Analysis

Decrease in Reported Hate Crimes in Sweden: A Thorough Analysis

Rising Above the Numbers: A Look into the Decline of Reported Hate Crimes in Sweden

Talking about crimes is never a nice topic but it’s essential for understanding society’s pulse. Today, we’re delving into the latest news in Sweden related to hate crimes. Surprisingly, the number of reported hate crimes has decreased in 2022. While this might sound like a win, it could also be due to other underlying factors. So, let’s buckle up and sift through the information together.

Understanding the Decline

Reportedly, reported incidents of hate crimes decreased by 24% in 2022 compared to those in 2020. However, the Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå) that reported these stats cautions that a host of factors might contribute to the dip. Aravella Lejonstad, a contributor to the report, suggests that one reason could be a decreased awareness among law enforcement, resulting in fewer crimes being categorized as hate crimes in police databases.

“In 2015 a significant training initiative was undertaken. This could have resulted in more crimes being tagged as hate crimes,” said Lejonstad.

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Let’s not forget folks that hate crimes spiked dramatically around 2015 – capping at 9,189 reports in 2018. Since then, we’ve seen a decline. Could it be a lack of reporting rather than a decrease in actual incidents? That’s the question currently on the table.

Unveiling the Motives

Diving into the types of reported hate crimes, the most common (53%) were xenophobic and racist in nature. Hate crimes against religious groups and LGBTQ+ individuals followed at 16% and 12% respectively.

I must highlight, within hate crimes against religious groups – Islamophobic hate crimes were most common (8%), closely followed by antisemitic hate crimes (4%).

Sadly, antisemitic hate crimes saw an uptick globally following the terror attack by Hamas and the subsequent Israeli invasion of Gaza. Sweden’s October saw 57 reports with antisemitic motives, an increase from 39 in September. Moreover, in the same month, London saw a surge in reported Islamophobic hate crimes from 71 in 2022 to 230.

Watch This Space

Brå is planning a separate report on hate crimes with antisemitic and Islamophobic motives. We’ll have to wait to find out when this publication will see the light of day.

“The issue is important,” asserts Lejonstad, indicating that Brå’s biennial report on hate crimes is an essential examination.

Before we wrap up, let’s not forget that 53% of these crimes had xenophobic or racist motives. Among hate crimes targeting a specific group, crimes with an ‘afrophobic’ bias were most common.

We don’t want to keep conversating about such a grim topic, but it’s essential to remain aware. Crime reports are more than just numbers; they reflect the state of our society, the challenges we face, and milestones we are yet to cross. So keep your eyes peeled, your hearts open, and your minds informed, friends.

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