Immigrant Crime in Denmark

A Swedish cop named Peter Springare took to Facebook, claiming that the majority of serious crimes in his precinct are committed by immigrants from Muslim countries and that the problem of Muslim crime is now so serious that the police are losing control. Since then, Springare has been reported for racist hate speech, which is a punishable offense in Sweden, and several Swedish officials have accused him of distorting the facts.

But as we detailed in our ‘The Number Sweden Doesn’t Want to Know’ video, no one – neither Springare nor the Swedish officials – knows the real numbers, since the Swedish authorities have decided not to calculate the crime rate of immigrants. Talk about wanting to have it both ways: The authorities don’t want to release statistics on immigrant crime rates, and when police officers who work with crime every day take a guess at what those rates might be, the authorities attack them for not having any statistics.

Well then – let’s try and help Sweden out. As we mentioned in the previous video, Sweden’s brother country of Denmark does publish statistics on the crime rates of immigrants from Muslim countries. Not only does Denmark have some of the best statistics in the world on this matter – the Danish authorities release figures on it every year. So let’s look at some numbers.

According to the Danish figures, immigrants and descendants of immigrants from countries like Somalia, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as displaced Palestinians, are noticeably more criminal than ethnic Danes. They are also noticeably more criminal than immigrants from other Western countries. In fact, among the group of immigrants and their descendants from the non-Western part of the world, the crime rate is almost 2,5 times that of ethnic Danes. However, the Danish dataset groups Muslim countries with other ‘non-Western’ countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. But the data actually shows that immigrants from East Asian countries are less criminal than even ethnic Danes! In other words, the real crime rate of immigrants from Muslim countries and their descendants is even higher than the reported figure.

The Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Phillipino immigrants prove that there is nothing about being an immigrant that predisposes you to commit crimes. When we see immigrants from Muslim countries committing so much more crime, it must be due to some other factor.

What could that factor be? One popular explanation is poverty. But as mentioned, the Danish statistics are some of the best in the world. They take care to observe best practices in social science and adjust the figures for age, wealth, and educational status. Even after adjusting for all of these things, immigrants from Muslim countries are still far more criminal than ethnic Danes or from other Western countries or non-Muslim East Asian countries.

Another purported explanation is that migrants from Muslim countries commit crimes because they’re refugees. But again, this explanation doesn’t hold up, since many of the Vietnamese people living in Denmark are also refugees.

In other words, it’s not the fact that they are immigrants or refugees that makes migrants from Muslim countries more likely to commit crimes. Nor is it poverty or the lack of education. Even when correcting for all of these things, migrants from Muslim countries still stand out as uniquely criminal and violent.

In our video ‘The Number Sweden Doesn’t Want to Know’, we mentioned that Sweden has not released data on immigrant crime since 2005. An interesting aside here is that the Danish figures place Muslim crime somewhere in the same ballpark as the last official Swedish figures did. The Swedish report found that foreign-born Swedes had a crime rate of twice that of domestically-born Swedes. The Danish stats say that the figure for non-Westerns is closer to 2,5 times that of ethnic Danes. However, both of these numbers are likely to under-report the true scope of immigrant crime. For Denmark, the figures do not distinguish between Muslim countries and other non-Western countries. For Sweden, the numbers do not even distinguish between Western and non-Western migrants to Sweden. In both cases, this means that the real crime rate of immigrants from Muslim countries is actually higher than the already elevated rates the stats are reporting.

So how elevated might the real rates be? 5 times… which is incidentally also what the Swedish figures from 2005 said

Finally, a point about correcting the figures for age, wealth, and education: Correcting figures is immensely useful when you want to find out why a given phenomenon unfolds the way as it does. For example, the way the Danish authorities have adjusted the figures through regression analysis rules out that Muslims commit more crime because of poverty or lack of education. But in a political context, it can also be misleading to correct the figures, since the raw numbers reflect the amount of crime that is actually taking place in the country