“We don’t have a theory as to why there has been a general decline, but there could be a range of factors. But if we look at the latest attitude surveys then tolerance towards homosexuals and people who come from other countries has increased over the last 5-10 years,” Carina Djärv at Brå told The Local.
The report shows that there has been a general decline in police reports of hate crimes by six percent over the past five years, with sexual orientation related offences declining the most, by some 32 percent.
The report divides hate crimes in six different categories according to motive and the vast majority of hate crime reports, some 72 percent, concern racism.
Some 13 percent have a homophobic, biphobic or heterophobic motive.
Carina Djärv told The Local that while there are indications that reports of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes have increased, these are not statistically significant.
“There is a mixed picture, with reports of anti-African and anti-Roma hate crimes up dramatically since 2008,” she told The Local.
The statistics show that reports of hate crimes concerning people of African descent and Roma increased by 24 and 21 percent respectively.
Djärv explained that more research would be required to establish whether hate crimes had actually decreased in society, and not just the number of reports, but pointed out that the issue has been given greater police priority in recent years.
“The police has worked intensively with the issue of hate crimes in recent years including cooperation with groups such as the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL).”
“This would if anything have led to more reports as the police have worked hard to train to identify incidences of hate crimes.”
Peter Vinthagen Simpson