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Immigrants in Sweden feel less safe: study

Published: 10 Feb 2011 09:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2011 09:59 GMT+01:00

One in four immigrants doesn't feel safe in Sweden, according to a new study. In general, however, Swedes feel safer than in years past.

More crimes are committed against immigrants in Sweden as a group, the annual national survey of safety compiled by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå) has found.

The survey (Nationella trygghetsundersökning – NTU), also found immigrants have less confidence in the Swedish judicial system and feel less safe than the general population.

While residents in Sweden overall report feeling safer compared to last year's survey, differences between the perceptions of immigrants and residents with Swedish backgrounds remain.

Among immigrants, 24 percent reported feeling unsafe, while the corresponding figure for people with Swedish backgrounds was only 13 percent, the survey, the results of which were released on Thursday, found.

"People who are born in another country often feel more unsafe. Previous research by the national survey of safety shows that the differences remain, even if one controls for other important factors like gender, age, income, where people live, and if someone has been the victim of a crime," said Åsa Irlander, an investigator with the crime prevention council, said in a statement.

Despite the remaining gap between immigrants and Swedes when it comes to feeling safe, fewer immigrants feel unsafe day than the 33 percent who reported feeling unsafe back in 2005.

The study also shows, however, that 16 percent of people born in other countries reported being the victims of crime compared to only 11 percent of the general population in Sweden.

Immigrants also reported having less faith in the Swedish legal system compared to the general population, with only 53 percent of immigrants saying they had high confidence in Sweden's judiciary, compared to 61 percent for the entire population.

Nevertheless, crime prevention council investigator Anna Frenzel believes things are heading in the right direction.

"The number of people who feel safe when they head out at night has increased somewhat, as have the number of people with confidence in the police and the judiciary," she said in a statement.

The report also found regional differences in how safe people in Sweden feel. Residents in Skåne in southern Sweden are the least safe, with 19 percent reporting they feel unsafe.

At the other end of the scale is Jämtland in northwestern Sweden, where only 8 percent of residents reported feeling unsafe.

Frenzel added she is surprised at the difference between the reality of the crime situation in Sweden and how it is presented in the media.

"There aren't as many victims of crime as the media makes it seem. The media gives the impression that crime is increasing, but our study shows that the number of crime victims has remained relatively stable," Frenzel told the TT news agency.

In the heavily immigrant Stockholm suburbs of Alby, Fittja, and Hallunda, police are engaged in ongoing efforts to reduce crime and increase residents' sense of safety.

"We're trying to make people feel more safe here but it's hard to get those who are foreign-born to engage in our work, like neighbourhood watch programmes, for example," police inspector Mats Backström from Botkyrka, another heavily immigrant Stockholm suburb, told TT.

"They would rather take care of themselves. They've built up their own closed society with close ties to relatives and friends."

Backström theorized that, by keeping to themselves, immigrants make themselves more vulnerable, which could explain why they feel unsafe.

He added, however, that he senses residents do feel more secure now than previously, even if crime levels haven't changed much.

The crime prevention council survey is based on responses from 14,000 interviews.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:49 February 10, 2011 by this_aint_sparta
"They would rather take care of themselves. They've built up their own closed society with close ties to relatives and friends."

Backström theorized that, by keeping to themselves, immigrants make themselves more vulnerable, which could explain why they feel unsafe.

Absolute crap, "keeping to themselves" ??? what the hell whats the alternate ????? Can someone please help me know how not to keep to themselves ???? In sweden isnt it we immigrants learn the first thing to "keep to themselves" ????
11:50 February 10, 2011 by johnny 2011
I don't feel safe in Sweden after dark and I am an ethnic Swede.
12:05 February 10, 2011 by Gletta
Where do you live Johnny?
12:33 February 10, 2011 by RobinHood
Some of Sweden's immigrant areas can be very unsafe indeed; even for immigrants.

The conclusion of the survey is that people who live in unsafe places feel more unsafe than people who live in safe places. Oh!
12:55 February 10, 2011 by calebian22
So the article should read, "Immigrants feel less safe in Sweden, because of other immigrants."
13:17 February 10, 2011 by skatty
"They would rather take care of themselves. They've built up their own closed society with close ties to relatives and friends." I think this theory is somehow misguiding.

The fact is that immigrants are not welcomed to the Swedish society, and they have to build their own closed society. The closed society usually is built under particular circumstances like cultural differences, religion differences, income differences, poverty, education or even the economical benefit for house owners in part of a city. The safety of these arias are usually under less attention from authority side because they can't manage and actually don't have much interest for poor immigrants. Criminal organizations usually recruit personal in the poor arias of a city better than anywhere else. Poverty is the highway to crime.

The obvious fact is that it's more preferred by the social system to see immigrants are keeping to themselves. I mean, if there would be a system, which let them have a job, have an income like a Swede and not be discriminated, then a number will rise to middle-class position and leave the closed societies of them, and this is not what is intended in Sweden.
13:29 February 10, 2011 by Roy E
Such articles ooze an agenda and betray themselves.
13:57 February 10, 2011 by just a question
tell me one country that welcomes immigrants...NONE!

get real guys, wherever you go as an immigrant, nobody welcomes you! not sweden, not UK, not Spain....

The reality of this shitty world is that all ethnic groups keep to themselves, trying to preserve their traditions and social structure and taboos and flags and all that crap.

So what did you expect from the Nordic countries, countries that have been isolated from the rest of the world for thousand of years!! a welcoming society! come on!!! Are Swedes racist? you should go to Japan...or experienced what is to be a latino in certain areas of USA
14:07 February 10, 2011 by underskyofsweden
Just take a look at some other places such as Canada or Australia! The government helped the immigrants to be integrated to the society and feel like they are at their home country! They can find jobs as the citizens of that country can! This is what the policy of government wants or intends to do!

BUT here is Europe and Sweden! Since there is a high potential of hidden racism in whole Europe, it is unlikely to not be supposed to be affected one day as an immigrant!

Some of immigrants separate themselves from other parts of Swedes because of many reasons:

1- Language disability or laziness in learning or too old to learn!

2- Religious beliefs that stop them to integrate and socialize!

3- Not sure about the future or temporary residence!

4- Instability regarding visa issues!

5- Not enough supports to find a good job without any kind of discrimination!

So, you can see that they are victims and seen themselves different and isolated from the society! This is the result of wrong policy ,wrong regulations, wrong people who thinks their blood is more red, and in one word, the sickness in mind!

Since we think that we are different and don't respect JANTELAGEN in practice!, we should not expect a friendly world around us!

If it happens someday, immigrants will be more thankful to what the society gave them in form of any immigration services and of course, the insecurity,crime and violence will not be highlighted so!
14:17 February 10, 2011 by Syftfel
If one in four feel unsafe, have they ever have stopped to ask why? And what can be done about it?
14:23 February 10, 2011 by Jack Mehoff
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:25 February 10, 2011 by enkelt
how on earth will an immigrant will integrate in sweden, swedes are born silent
14:37 February 10, 2011 by aaww
define "immigrant"
14:46 February 10, 2011 by Thierry10
@Jack Mehoff "It's the Scandinavians that feel less safe in Sweden ever since they arrived here"

!!! They feel soooo unsafe that they are affraid to tell the "truth" to the interviewers !!
14:47 February 10, 2011 by laura ka baal
@ aaww

Viking = 100% actual "immigrant"
14:59 February 10, 2011 by Syftfel
Every reader of this non-story will instinctively know that this article has been written with an ulterior motive. Brå, as well as NTU are out to twist the facts and mislead. I will offer to re-write this story so that it represents the truth. Niether Goebbels nor Ulbricht could have surpassed the writer of this falsehood with meaningless, nonsensical, invective. What you have here is a textbook example of how government and media are in cahoots to turn us into an obedient, orwellian, flock of sheep, all the while opening the gates to an endless stream of "victimized children" fleeing oppression, where the once great nation of Sweden has become the global panacea. Don't fall for the one sided gibberish in the above story. It's all a diversionary scam.
15:09 February 10, 2011 by jeffi_in_denmark
Every single person living in Canada today is either an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant. Canada is a nation created by migration, be it over the ice-bridge from Siberia so very long ago or by being part of a hunger-gather society or more recent. The entire culture is one where immigration is a fact of life.

Trying to compare immigration in Sweden to immigration in Canada is futile and completely lacking in common points other than being able to state "Both countries permit immigration".
15:10 February 10, 2011 by Swedesmith
@underskyofsweden

You are never to old to learn. Why, just the other day I was learning to.....I forget.
16:06 February 10, 2011 by Borilla
These are the usual ridiculous agruments,with the Nazis arguing that "immigrants" are a group of crime ridden, insular neer-do-wells and the "immigrants" arguing that they are victims of a system that will not let them do exactly as they did in their native country (which of course begs the question as to why they left).

As for Australia and Canada and their integrated societies, ask the Aborigines and the Inuit how integrated they are. The immigrants came and marginalized, enslaved and murdered the native population. That is how they integrated the countries.

If both the Nazis and the "immigrants" would look past the end of their noses, they might find that they are living in a country that is envied by a large part of the world's population.
16:08 February 10, 2011 by svenskamerikansk
@jeffi_in_denmark - "Every single person living in Canada today is either an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant"

...just as we are all related to primordial goo and a pretty close genetic match to chimpanzees.

I suppose no distinctions can be drawn about much of anything following your line of reasoning.

The grand prize of relativism is nothingness.
16:09 February 10, 2011 by skatty
@ just a question

Actually, there are many countries, where welcome immigrants like US, Canada, even some EU countries, when they need worker for different reason.

I think one way to analyze the subject of small societies of immigrants in a city is to look at the characteristic of the small societies. I mean, you can find Chinatown with Chinese in New York, majority of Turks in Kreuzberg (Berlin), or Pakistanis mainly in Birmingham and Bradford (UK); with their own communities, traditions, class differences (rich and poor), businesses, crimes, religious, power in economy and political system of the country where they live.

Now, I wonder if you can say the same thing about Alby, Fittja, Hallunda, Rinkeby, Rosengård, or Hammarkullen. The characteristics of these arias doesn't belongs to any particular nation, you cannot say if these places are for Turkish, Pakistani, Chinese, Afghan, African, Iranian, Arabs, Latin American, East Europe, or even people from west Europe, because all of them are living in these arias. As a matter of fact the characteristics of closed society of immigrants in Sweden are more like Concentration Camps!

There is a strong separation between Swedes and immigrants in general. Of courses, related to be European or not, this distinction can be strong or weak. So, there are differences between Sweden and some other countries, which welcome immigrants!
16:36 February 10, 2011 by philster61
I wonder who they feel threatened by..... Swedes or other foreigners....Im sure Muslim women are more threatened by their family members than strangers. Its just a matter of time before honour killings start to occur....Where does this "threat" come from? Certainly not from the average Swede.
16:37 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
I guess jeffi_in_denmark thinks that Scandinavians just poped up out of the ground, fully grown, to start their society. I'm afraid not. Every single person in Sweden, Denmark, etc. is either an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant.
18:22 February 10, 2011 by loudasthunder
Wrong title and story, it should read "Scandinavians feel less Safe from insurgents" This is the truth-of-it : )
19:14 February 10, 2011 by just a question
@skatty,

Canada welcoming immigrants? do you know how difficult is to get a visa and go to work there?
20:00 February 10, 2011 by skatty
@just a question

Yes, I know, I have tried and I got it (I don't live in a particular country as a main land, move around). To find job is hard depends to the market; however, it's more suitable than Sweden for immigration from a sociological point of view, and relation between the natives and immigrants.
20:30 February 10, 2011 by Ravioli
Just look at who is over-represented in all violent crime and rape statistics. Then decide for yourself who should be scared.
20:43 February 10, 2011 by Querist
.

It stands to reason that the Sami People feel 'less secure' ... after fenno-scandinavian migration into their ancestral lands.

.
21:51 February 10, 2011 by DAVID T
Canada welcomes immigrants based on a points system - If your smart and want to work you can get to Canada and intergrate. If you're lazy want to have 25 kids and demand handouts come to Sweden.
21:53 February 10, 2011 by buschmann
I am always bewildered when I read a comment that states, all etnic sweds and scandanavians (except sami) are immigrants. Seems obvious that all white/Caucasian people are indigenous to europe.
22:53 February 10, 2011 by just a question
you forgot something....most of the immigrants that come to Sweden are not immigrants, are refugees. They have been accepted by the Swedish system, and it's the Swedish system the one that needs to take care of them, give them job opportunities. So blame the state and polititians and people that voted these polititians, not refugees! You people created the problem, find the solution!
00:00 February 11, 2011 by skatty
@ just a question

I neither blame refugees nor Swedes. What you say is true about Canada and the main population of immigrants. Actually for the same reason that you mention, Canada is even more suitable for refugees.

You see, the countries, which are built by immigrants and their foundation is based on immigrants from different part of the world, have better mentality to accept and deal with immigrants and refugees than a very homogeneous country like Sweden. My purpose has been to compare the suitability of a place to live as a foreigner (immigrant or refugee).

Nowhere is perfect; immigrants and refugees are human, and want to see a suitable connection and relation with their surrounded environments, according to their abilities, knowledge and interests; a good society is a society, which makes these connections and relations to be possible!
03:58 February 11, 2011 by saraswed
did anyone watch Uppdrag granskning about the svenska förengingen in Norway.6 people pack in a room and like 15 people share a single apartment and pay ridiculous amount of money and in tough conditions .yet they have no choice.
04:06 February 11, 2011 by Swedesmith
I think all people, immigrants and otherwise, feel a little less safe in the world today what with all the crazies strapping bombs to themselves or nuts voicing their opinions with bullets instead of words.
04:12 February 11, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
"Every single person living in Canada today is either an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant"

Not me friend, since I'm a native Indian. :-)

Actually that's only 50%. That part of me wishes that everybody else should leave Canada and go back to their ancestoral homeland. But then the other 50% of me is from an immigrant from the UK and it feels different, so it all balances out.

You can't compare Sweden to Canada with immigration. Canadian immigration policy has evolved over the past three hundred years. In Sweden the concept of "multiculturalism" was suddenly forced on a homgeneous society by overly idealistic politicians thirty years ago. Plus anybody who moves to Canada has a knowlege of English or French. How many immigrants speak Swedish before moving there? Also, at least from what I'm reading, Canada is generally more selective as to who they allow in.
19:46 February 11, 2011 by technoviking
Easy solution... Stop letting unskilled immigrants into the country.

Shockingly, crime levels will drop.

@ skatty

Canuk is 100% right, don't compare US immigration to the immigration in North America, it's apples and oranges. As it's practiced today, no immigrant without a highly valued skill will get into NA.

Sweden allows any koran thumping cave man into the country in the name of multiculturalism and are shocked that they don't fit in.

If you don't have a PhD or are not in the process of getting one, you are . Let the smart, educated, accomplished immigrants in, and keep the cave men out. Problem solved.
20:30 February 11, 2011 by loudasthunder
Nonsense,

The reality is Sweden is Less safe because of migrants.

This is a PR article to sweep the truth under the carpet.

Sure, I'll bite. There are problems between the cultures of poeple from different lands, but the majority of crimes committed in Sweden, are brought against society by the migrants. There are over 80% of them seving time in the Swedish prison system as of late.

Sad, but oh so True.
00:19 February 12, 2011 by skatty
@technoviking

No, it shouldn't be compared; however, I had to give an example, and I couldn't find any example in Europe! There is no country in Europe with completely an immigration background; it's why Europe is named the old continent!

And PHD is not always the answer to the problem of immigrants. There are many people with PHD, who are looking for job in Sweden and North America, as immigrant or non-immigrant and can't find any. Sometimes it's even better not to get a PHD, it cost lot of time and money, and you may end up in a manual job after all.

Your idea of PHD as a solution belongs to 35 years ago, when life could be granted with a University degree. Nowadays, life can't be granted with anything, our life is going up and down with stocks in Wall street, no matter if you have stock or not!
13:20 February 12, 2011 by nolikegohome
when people feel scared and threatened they form vigilante groups to protect themselves. It starts with brooms sticks with hammered in nails to kitchen knives and finally to guns a wise leader will and should see to the needs of his people in anyway he or she can.
18:33 February 12, 2011 by wxman
Of course they feel unsafe - - from their own. Good people, regardless of the ethnic group, leave unsafe places and move to safe places to raise their families in peace. The problem is, the bad element of their society "follows" them to their new digs. Now, not only are those who moved unsafe, but so is the formerly safe and stable society they moved into. Take a look at America's urban areas over the last 50 years for a perfect example of this.
22:32 February 12, 2011 by Iraniboy
It doesn't need that much analysis. It is a common sense that nobody like crime and nobody likes to criminal around. So instead of elaborating the issue, they should only focus on breaking into gangs and stop their activities instead of all these we/them arguments.

@loudasthunder

Prove your claim with statistics or...

Even if you were true, it doesn't help your Xenophobic points. If 90% of immigrants were criminal, the 10% of them have the same status as you and your family have.
04:04 February 13, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
"And PHD is not always the answer to the problem of immigrants."

Sometimes all a PHD really means is Print Here Dummy. The world is full of PHD's driving taxis and and in other forms of under employment. It really depends what the PHD is in and what the individual has done with it since graduation. For example - India cranks out a lot of engineers, doctors and PHD's from schools that aren't even recognized in the west.

I know for a fact that Canada probably needs more immigrant tradesmen that we need foriegn PHD's, especially when some of our own home grown PHD's can't find work in their specialities. I suspect its the same in Sweden.
08:00 July 10, 2011 by Norum
if they dont like it, they can always go back to their third world countries. Dont forget to close the door on your way out.
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