by Max Brantley
Trump told supporters: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”There were no immigrant-related acts of violence or terror incidents the night before in Sweden. What could he have been talking about? Best guess it that it was another Fox News-inspired Trump reference, from a Tucker Carlson segment on whether the rise in immigrants in Sweden had created criminal problems there.
“Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.”
The source of Trump’s remark is unclear, but it came after Fox News aired an interview with film-maker Ami Horowitz, whose latest documentary examines whether high crime rates in areas of Sweden is linked to its previous open-door policy on people fleeing war and persecution.By way of comparison: Arkansas, with 3 million people, recorded 166 murders in 2015 according to preliminary data from the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Sweden's 112 cases of lethal violence came in a country with almost 10 million people.
According to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey, crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable over the last decade, with some fluctuations. In 2015, there were 112 cases of lethal violence in Sweden, an increase of 25 cases compared with 2014, but assaults, threats, sexual offences, car theft, burglary and harassment all reduced compared to the previous year – as did anxiety about crime in society.