In an interview with Time on Thursday, Trump insists he was right when he controversially suggested a mysterious event had taken place in Sweden “last night”, later clarifying he was referring to a Fox News report which incorrectly claimed crimes such as rape had risen sharply after the 2015 refugee crisis.
To refresh your memory, the US president said at the time: “Look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.”
The remarks sparked indignation in Sweden and led to a flurry of news reports about immigration challenges and successes. A riot in the Rinkeby suburb of Stockholm a day later fanned the flames of the debate, and in the interview Trump says it proved his point. “Sweden. I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems,” he tells the Time interviewer.
The Rinkeby riot saw car burnings, vandalism, looting and several people throwing stones at police officers, one police officer firing their gun and a photographer from the Dagens Nyheter also reported being assaulted. It is not clear what “death” the president was referring to as nobody died in the incident.
Later in the interview Trump says: “I am talking about Sweden. I'm talking about what Sweden has done to themselves is very sad, that is what I am talking about. That is what I am talking about. You can phrase it any way you want. A day later they had a horrible, horrible riot in Sweden and you saw what happened.”
If you want to read what residents in Rinkeby themselves have to say about their suburb, click here.
Sweden took in an unprecedented 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015, but in fact there does not appear to have been a sharp rise in serious violence since, according to publicly available national crime statistics, presented by the National Council on Crime Prevention (Brå) online.
According to these statistics there were 112 cases of deadly violence in Sweden in 2015, compared to 83 in 2005 (with a 111 peak in 2007). Since 1990, deadly violence has decreased, according to Brå.
Reported rapes meanwhile rose by 13 percent in 2016, according to preliminary figures. However, the number dipped by 12 percent in 2015, the year of the refugee crisis. Some stats: In 2016 there were 67 reported rape incidents per 100,000 people, 60 in 2015, 69 in 2014, 63 in 2013, 66 in 2012, 69 in 2011, 64 in 2010 and 2009, 59 in 2008 and 52 in 2007.
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