Reported hate crimes

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives were until 2016 presented annually. From now on it will be presented biannually. The method of data collection differs significantly from that employed for the official crime statistics. The report further includes information collected from victimisation surveys, predominantly the Swedish Crime Survey (SCS).

    Statistical tables
    About the statistics

About the statistics

The data collection method for the statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives differ from that of the official crime statistics on reported and cleared up crimes. Hate crime is not a specific criminal offence. Most offences in the Penal Code can amount to a hate crime since the hate crime element is found in the offender’s motives. Nor do the police have specific crime codes in their computer system for registering hate crimes, why data currently cannot be collected in the traditional manner.

The method for identifying police reports with potential hate crime motives is based on a computerised search of the narratives of the reports, by help of a search word list. Since 2012, the search is applied to a sample of reports concerning a number of specific crime categories. Reports containing words and phrases that indicate a potential hate crime motive are examined manually by at least two different people. Reports considered to contain a hate crime motive have their details coded in before an estimation procedure is applied to produce population-level estimates. These estimates subsequently make up the hate crime statistics.

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives can indicate attention given to hate crime in police reports and the structure of reported incidents. It does not, however, indicate prevalence of hate crime in society since most criminal incidents, regardless of motive, are not reported to the police. For this purpose, victimisation studies such as the Swedish Crime Survey (SCS), the Politicians' Safety Survey (PTU) and the Swedish school survey on crime (SUB) can assist in giving a better picture.

In the latest hate crime report from 2016 the statistics on self-reported exposure to hate crime is based on data from the SCS, the PTU and the SUB. The SCS is conducted annually, PTU is conducted biannually and the SUB is conducted every three years.

The statistics on police reports with identified hate crime motives include the following motives:

  • Xenophobia/racism
  • Afrophobia
  • Anti-Roma
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Islamophobia
  • Christianophobia
  • Other anti-religious
  • Homophobia
  • Biphobia
  • Heterophobia
  • Transphobia

Details on self-reported exposure to hate crime include the following motives:

  • Xenophobia (SCS, SUB, PTU)
  • Anti-religious (SCS, SUB, PTU)
  • Homophobia (SCS)
  • Sexual orientation in general (PTU, SUB)
  • Transphobia (PTU)

    Facts

Facts

  • 6,415 (est.) reports with an identified hate crime motive in 2016.
  • 72 per cent (almost 4,610 reports) were motivated by xenophobia/racism (of which almost 910 were Afrophobic and almost 160 were anti-Roma).
  • 9 per cent (just over 550 reports) were motivated by sexual orientation.
  • 7 per cent (almost 440 reports) were motivated by Islamophobia.
  • 5 per cent (almost 290 reports) were motivated by Christianophobia.
  • 4 per cent (just over 270 reports) had an otherwise anti-religious motive
  • 3 per cent (just over 180 reports) were motivated by anti-Semitism.
  • 1 per cent (almost 80 reports) was motivated by transphobia.
  • The person-based clearance rate was 4 per cent for the hate crime reports that were recorded in 2016 and followed up until 31 May 2017.
  • 1.9 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 145,000 individuals) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of xenophobic hate crime in 2015.
  • 0.6 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 47,000 individuals) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of anti-religious hate crime in 2015.
  • 0.3 per cent of the population (16–79 years) in Sweden (approximately 23,000 persons) stated in the Swedish crime survey that they had been a victim of a homophobic hate crime in 2015.
  • 6.9 per cent of Sweden's elected politicians stated in the Politicians' Safety Survey (PTU) that they had been a victim of hate crime in their role as a politician in 2016.
  • Among the politicians exposed to hate crimes, the most common motive was xenophobia (87 per cent), followed by anti-religious (45 per cent), sexual orientation (17 per cent) and transgender identity or expression (13 per cent).
  • Politicians in the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) were more exposed to hate crime than those elected at the municipal level (19.2 per cent compared to 6.7 per cent).
  • 12.5 per cent of the elected representatives from the Left Party stated that they had been subjected to a hate crime in their role as a politician in 2016. For the Green Party, the corresponding share was 10.4 percent and for the Social Democratic Party 7.9 per cent.
  • Women were more exposed (7.4 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent) to hate crime in their roles as elected politicians.
  • In terms of victimization within each age group, hate crimes were most common for politicians under the age of 29 (14.4 per cent), followed by those within the age group 30-39 years (13.6 per cent).
  • Politicians with a foreign background were more exposed to hate crime than those of Swedish origin (9.1 compared to 6.7 per cent).
  • 5,8 per cent of pupils 15 years of age stated in the Swedish school survey on crime that they had been victim of xenophobic hate crimes in 2015, of which 53 per cent were exposed more than once during the year.
  • 2.8 per cent of pupils 15 years of age stated in the Swedish school survey on crime that they had been victim of antireligious hate crimes in 2015, of which 46 per cent were exposed more than once during the year.
  • 1.4 per cent of pupils 15 years of age stated in the Swedish school survey on crime that they had been victim of hate crimes against sexual orientation in 2015, of which 64 per cent were exposed more than once during the year.
  • ​Data from the hate crime statistics 2016.

Reported hate crime

Estimated number of of police reports with an identified hate crime motive, of which reports with xenophobic/racist motives, 2008–2016. Source: Hate Crime statistics

Reported hate crime, other motives

Estimated number of of police reports with an identified hate crime motive, other motives, 2008–2016. Source: Hate Crime statistics