Criminal Immigrants?

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A few days
ago I discussed the problem with an unproportionally high crime
rate among Swedish immigrants in Swedish public television. It stroked
me how common sense logics have been replaced by socialist ideas
when it comes to law and order.

Recently the
Crime Prevention Commission released a report showing that Swedish
immigrants in general have a crime tendency more than 100 percent
higher than the average, and some 300–400 percent above the
average when it comes to more serious crimes such as murder and
rape. Granted, these figures look at those charged with crimes rather
than those convicted, but it is a fair assumption that there is
a strong correlation between the two factors.

The high crime
rate among immigrants is of course a very serious social problem,
not least for the immigrants and native Swedes living in low-income
communities with a high percent of immigrant residents. It should
be discussed in an open and frank way in the public debate, instead
of being monopolized by the racists. Unfortunately Swedish media
simply toned down the issue by being politically correct.

A good example
of this is how Aftonbladet, one of the largest Swedish newspapers,
put a spin on the findings of the report by stating that "Immigrants
are more often suspected of crimes than Swedes. But those born in
Sweden commit most of the crimes". The logic behind that statement
is that the relative rate of immigrants being charged with crimes
is compared to the total, rather than relative, criminality of native
Swedes, who encompass the vast majority of the population.

Swedish media
and intellectuals, being strongly influenced by the ideas of the
left, have a victim mentality. Criminals are therefore often viewed
as the victims of social injustices, particularly if they belong
to a minority group or have low incomes. Criminality is explained
as a natural consequence of the inequality that exists in every
society that not fully lives up to the socialist expectation of
a fair society.

Every time
crime levels go up in Sweden, whether among immigrants or native
Swedes, ordinary people want the police to handle the problem. But
the intellectuals, the media and socialist politicians are quick
to explain that the main problem is the unfair economy. The only
solution is thus more government handouts to the groups with a high
percent of criminality.

These policies
usually lead to increased problems with welfare dependence among
the immigrants. What Swedish intellectuals and media are missing
is that the main economical problem among Swedish immigrants is
that very few have actual jobs and that the majority are living
off the government. Among non-Scandinavian immigrants, only 47 percent
of the adults are active in the working market. And this number
includes those on government "activity programs" or on
long-term sick leave.

But more importantly,
crime is not simply an economical issue. The report from the Crime
Prevention Commission clearly shows that some immigrant groups have
a very low crime rate (such as those from East Asia), despite their
relatively low incomes. Other groups have much higher crime rates,
although they often are better educated than the average Swede.

Crime is in
a sense related to culture. The Swedish people have a culture of
abiding by the law. As a consequence of the soft version of socialism
implemented in the country, few criminals are punished and sentences
are very low for most crimes. For example, many of those who kill
people by drunken driving get out of prison in one or two years,
sometimes even lower than that.

The only crimes
that are punished severely are those related to drugs and economic
crimes, particularly when trying to avoid taxation. Given the low
criminality among native Swedes and the soft attitude of government
against criminality, it is not surprising that many immigrant groups
are overrepresented in the crime statistics.

A straightforward
solution to the problem with high criminality is to have the Swedish
government fulfill its main purpose by protecting its citizens from
crime. Criminals should be punished, regardless of ethnical origins.
Sadly, this policy is strongly opposed by leftwing thinkers, who
see welfare programs as the only solution. As socialist ideas prevail
over common sense the problems remain.

31, 2005

Sanandaji [send him mail]
president of the Swedish think tank Captus and the editor of Captus
. He has been admitted to graduate studies in biochemistry
at the University of Cambridge.

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