Hate crimes 2007 A summary of reports to the police of crimes motivated by xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and homophobia. English summary of Brå report No 2008:15


In 2007, just over 2,500 reports were identified that were assessed to include a principal offence motivated by xenophobia. Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of 14 percent. Unlawful threats/molestation is the most common hate crime motivated by xenophobia (34 percent). Violent crime and defamation are the next most common types of crime. Places of entertainment as the scene of a crime are the most common for this motive, which can be explained by unlawful discrimination being common. The results from the Swedish Crime Survey 2007 shows that 1.2 percent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden have stated that they were victims of hate crime motivated by xenophobia in 2006.

Islamophobic hate crime. Hate crime motivated by islamophobia can take many expressions. For instance, the suspect may have expressed hostility of hatred against Muslims. It may be a case of vandalism of premises linked to Muslims, damage to mosques or Muslim cemeteries and harassment of persons due to their Muslim faith. In 2007, just over 200 reports were identified as including a principal offence with Islamophobic motive. The number of Islamophobic hate crimes reported has fallen since last year by 18 percent (almost 50 reports). This fall can possibly be explained by there being in 2006 certain events that generated a large number of reports. Unlawful threats/molestation constitutes the largest proportion of the crimes, 34 percent. One quarter of reports are of the crime type agitation against ethnic group, followed by violent crime and defamation. Letters are the most common nature of contact in Islamophobic hate crimes (15 percent), which is a higher proportion than for other hate crime (2–6 percent).

One in three anti-Semitic hate crimes is ideologically motivated. The proportion is thus higher than for crimes motivated by Xenophobia (13 percent), Islamophobic motives (7 percent) and crimes with homophobic motives (3 percent). In 2007, just under 120 reports to the police were identified to contain a principal offence with anti-Semitic motivation. The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes is 12 percent lower in 2007 than in 2006, and has fallen from 134 reports to 118. Agitation against ethnic group is the most common type of crime, while violent crime is less common. In more than half the cases, the perpetrator is unknown to the victim. The highest proportion of technically cleared up crimes (50 percent) compared to other hate crimes.

In 2007, nearly 725 reports were identified as including a main crime with homophobic motive, which is an increase of 6 percent compared to the year before. Every fourth homophobic hate crime is a violent crime, where a perpetrator makes a physical attack. In 7 percent of reports, the person is attacked by a person close to them: a former partner, somebody in the family or a friend, which is a high proportion compared to other hate crime. The result from the Swedish Crime Survey 2007 describes the self-reported exposure to crime with homophobic motive as lower than that motivated by xenophobia.

Source: The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå)