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Reported hate crimes

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives are presented annually. The method of data collection differs significantly from that employed for the official crime statistics. The report further includes information collected from victimisation surveys, predominantly the Swedish Crime Survey (SCS).

Reported hate crime

Estimated number of of police reports with an identified hate crime motive, of which reports with xenophobic/racist motives, 2008–2015. Source: Hate Crime statistics

About the statistics

The data collection method for the statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives differ from that of the official crime statistics on reported and cleared up crimes. Hate crime is not a specific criminal offence. Most offences in the Penal Code can amount to a hate crime since the hate crime element is found in the offender’s motives. Nor do the police have specific crime codes in their computer system for registering hate crimes, why data currently cannot be collected in the traditional manner.

The method for identifying police reports with potential hate crime motives is based on a computerised search of the narratives of the reports, by help of a search word list. Since 2012, the search is applied to a sample of reports concerning a number of specific crime categories. Reports containing words and phrases that indicate a potential hate crime motive are examined manually by at least two different people. Reports considered to contain a hate crime motive have their details coded in before an estimation procedure is applied to produce population-level estimates. These estimates subsequently make up the hate crime statistics.

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives can indicate attention given to hate crime in police reports and the structure of reported incidents. It does not, however, indicate prevalence of hate crime in society since most criminal incidents, regardless of motive, are not reported to the police. For this purpose, victimisation studies such as the Swedish Crime Survey (SCS), the Swedish school survey on crime (SUB) and the Politicians' Safety Survey (PTU) can assist in giving a better picture.

The Swedish hate crime statistics are presented annually and are based primarily on police reports with identified hate crime motives, but also include self-reported exposure to hate crime based on data from the Swedish Crime Survey, in 2012 also from the Swedish school survey on crime and in 2013 from the Politicians' Safety Survey. The last two surveys are not conducted every year.

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives include the following motives:

  • Xenophobia/racism
  • Afrophobia
  • Anti-Roma
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Islamophobia
  • Christianophobia
  • Other anti-religious
  • Homophobia
  • Biphobia
  • Heterophobia
  • Transphobia

Details on self-reported exposure to hate crime include the following motives:

  • Xenophobia (SCS, SUB, PTU)
  • Anti-religious (SCS, SUB, PTU)
  • Homophobia (SCS)
  • Sexual orientation in general (PTU)
  • Transphobia (PTU)

Facts

  • 6,980 (est.) reports with an identified hate crime motive in 2015.
  • 68 per cent (almost 4,770 reports) were motivated by xenophobia/racism (of which just over 1,070 were Afrophobic and almost 240 were anti-Roma).
  • 9 per cent (just over 600 reports) were motivated by sexual orientation.
  • 8 per cent (almost 560 reports) were motivated by Islamophobia.
  • 6 per cent (almost 390 reports) were motivated by Christianophobia.
  • 5 per cent (just over 330 reports) had an otherwise anti-religious motive
  • 4 per cent (nearly 280 reports) were motivated by anti-Semitism.
  • 1 per cent (just over 60 reports) was motivated by transphobia.
  • The person-based clearance rate was 4 per cent for the hate crime reports that were recorded in 2015 and followed up until 30 April 2016.
  • 1.4 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 107,000 individuals) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of xenophobic hate crime in 2014.
  • 0.5 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 37,000 individuals) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of anti-religious hate crime in 2014.
  • 0.2 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 17,000 persons) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of xenophobic hate crime in 2014.
  • 6.3 per cent of Sweden's elected politicians stated in the Politicians' Safety Survey (PTU) that they had been a victim of hate crime in their role as a politician in 2014.
  • Among the politicians exposed to hate crimes, the most common motive was xenophobia (87 per cent), followed by anti-religious (45 per cent), sexual orientation (21 per cent) and transgender identity or expression (16 per cent).
  • Politicians in the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) were more exposed to hate crime than those elected at the municipal level (14.0 per cent compared to 6.1 per cent).
  • 14.9 per cent of the elected representatives from the Left Party stated that they had been subjected to a hate crime in their role as a politician in 2014. For the Green Party, the corresponding share was 7.2 per cent, for the Sweden Democrats, 7.1 per cent and for the Social Democratic Party 6.7 per cent.
  • Men and women were equally exposed (6.3 per cent compared to 6.4 per cent) to hate crime in their roles as elected politicians.
  • In terms of victimisation within each age group, hate crimes were most common for politicians under the age of 29 (17.9 per cent), followed by those within the age group 30-39 years (10.7 per cent).
  • Politicians with a foreign background were more exposed to hate crime than those of Swedish origin (11.7 compared to 5.8 per cent).

​Data from the hate crime statistics 2015.

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