The liberal website Vox recently ran an article on migrant crime in Sweden that was so misleading that another liberal had to correct them.
At a campaign-style rally Saturday, President Trump said, “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
Zack Beauchamp of Vox wrote that Trump’s remarks come from “a long history of sexual panics in the West about non-white immigrants,” and that the Swedish “rape epidemic” is fake.
“Official Swedish statistics do indeed show a high rate of rape, but that’s because Swedish law has an extremely expansive definition of what qualifies as rape under the law. Sweden has a higher official rape rate, in short, because its police are better able to investigate and prosecute sexual violence,” he writes, dismissing worries about migrant crime.
The reporting was so erroneous that even Mother Jones, another left-of-center site, pushed back against it.
Kevin Drum wrote in Mother Jones, “[w]henever I see writing that carefully avoids providing comparative statistics, my BS detector goes off.”
“He linked to an old report that tallies crime rates for the years 1997-2001—which is all but useless in 20171—and then glided quickly past his eventual acknowledgment that the foreign-born have ‘a higher rate of criminal charges than the native-born.’ If you’re interested, here’s the actual data from the report (tables 3 and 6 in the appendix).”
The article goes on to post two graphs from Swedish crime statistics from 1997-2001, that show immigrants and foreign born committing disproportionate levels of crime, including for murder, rape, sexual assault, and robbery. And when broken down by area of origin, North Africans and Middle Easterners committed far greater crime than native Swedes.
In fairness to Beauchamp, the rate of many crimes has remained fairly flat in Sweden, even with increased immigration.
However, sexual offenses have indeed increased in recent years, and as Drum notes in his piece, some statistics suggest that “crime against persons was up 7 percent in 2016, including a 13 percent increase in reported rapes and a 14 percent increase in child abuse.”
The reason such old data must be used is because since 2005, Sweden has refused to publish crime data on immigrants. (RELATED: Sweden Refuses To Find Statistics On Immigrant Crime)
Trump vented his frustrations on media coverage of migrant crime in Sweden on Twitter Monday.
Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017