Almost all murders and attempted murders in Sweden using firearms are carried out by people with foreign backgrounds, according to a new study.
According to research carried out by Dagens Nyheter, 90 out of the 100 offenders and suspected offenders examined by the liberal daily newspaper have at least one foreign-born parent, the vast majority having roots in the Middle East and North Africa.
In around half of the cases, the men were born in Sweden whilst others migrated to the country at a young age. The study looked at 53 convicted and 47 suspected perpetrators involved in shootings in public places which have taken place since 2013.
“The fact is that street gangs, and violence are phenomena that occur in some areas, and most of the people who live in these areas are of foreign descent,” said Amir Rostani, a sociologist at Stockholm University.
Around 80 per cent of the men have roots in the Middle East and North Africa, with offenders having roots in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Somalia, and Eritrea.
“This is well in line with a study I previously conducted, on members of criminal networks,” Amir Rostami told Dagens Nyheter.
The newspaper noted that whilst Sweden’s Crime Prevention Council (Brå), which is responsible for compiling official crime statistics, have released a number of reports on gun-related violence, none of these have looked at the background of perpetrators.
“[The background of offenders] is not something that the government has ever asked us to examine,” said Lars Korsell, co-author of the 2016 report ‘Criminal Networks and Gangs’.
Brå Director General, Erik Wennerström, said he is now open to the idea of examining offenders’ ethnic backgrounds in future.
“I think we could discover some interesting things if we investigate this data,” he told Dagens Nyheter.
“We already knew that the new arrivals are generally overrepresented in crime, but we don’t know how long will it take before these trends start to slow down.
“We try to keep an eye out for patterns we can study so as to gain new insight into crime, this could be the one. This could well be one such pattern.”
At a two-day rally to protest rampant violence in Rinkeby, where 90 per cent of residents were either born abroad or to two foreign parents, speakers blamed racism, colonialism, and politicians for crime in the suburb.
The rally, ‘Suburb of Violence’, was held after Rinkeby saw 22 murders take place in less than two years.