Five Percent of Swedish Suspects Commit a Quarter of Crimes, Majority From Foreign Backgrounds


 A study into Swedish organised gangs and extremist groups has revealed that a mere five per cent of criminal suspects are responsible for over a quarter of reported crimes, with suspects disproportionately coming from migration background families.

The study, released by the Institute for Future Studies, looked at 15,244 individuals connected to either organised crime or extremists groups such as far-left anarchists, neo-Nazi extremists, radical Islamic extremists, and football hooligans and found that the suspects accounted for 25.6 per cent of crimes reported from 1995 to 2016, SVT reports.

According to the data, the largest group of suspects come from the outlaw motorcycle gang scene in Sweden with 5,693 suspects who are most commonly born in Sweden to Swedish parents.

The second largest group, 5,094 suspects, come from Sweden’s “vulnerable areas” often referred to as “no-go areas” such as the Stockholm suburbs of Rinkeby and Tensta or the Malmö suburb of Rosengård. The suspects are most commonly foreign-born, according to the report, and have no formal gang affiliation.

The group with the highest number of foreign-born members, at 72 per cent, are the Islamic extremists while the group with the highest number of suspects born in Sweden to two Swedish parents are the neo-Nazi extremists at 79 per cent.

While around 70 per cent of suspects overall were born in Sweden, the majority come from foreign backgrounds, having at least one or two foreign-born parents. Of the organised crime groups, only the motorcycle gangs have a majority of members born in Sweden to two Swedish parents at 56 per cent.

For the extremist groups, aside from the radical Islamic extremists, the football hooligans, far-left extremists, neo-nazi extremists, and extremists labelled “other,” are all majority native Swedish.

The average age of the suspects across all groups is 26, and the vast majority are men with extremist groups having more female members than organised crime.

The study shows that the majority of suspects come from foreign backgrounds and have at least one foreign-born parent, and echoes similar studies into the backgrounds of criminals in Sweden such as a study by Swedish tabloid Expressen earlier this year that showed a majority of gang rapists came from foreign backgrounds.

The Expressen study was followed up by newspaper Aftonbladet several weeks later which also came to the same conclusion regarding gang rapes.

Foreign background men are also, according to a 2017 study by newspaper Dagens Nyheter, responsible for 90 per cent of shootings in the country.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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