Malmo: 480 crimes, 0 convictions

By Natalie Rothschild, January 10, 2013
Mayor Ilmar Reepalu 'upset' by the figures

Mayor Ilmar Reepalu 'upset' by the figures

Out of a record 480 reported hate crimes in Malmo between 2010 and 2011, only 16 led to an indictment and none led to a conviction, according to statistics from the Swedish Crime Prevention Council. None of the 44 antisemitic hate crimes reported in Malmo in the two-year period even made it to a prosecutor.

Malmo mayor Ilmar Reepalu, widely berated for failing to address growing antisemitism in the city, said that the new report is “alarming and has deeply upset me, and not least the fact that the police cannot investigate the crimes to the degree required for bringing in indictments”.

“Every hate crime is one too many,” said Mr Reepalu. “It is also a particularly serious crime since it is an attack on who you are as a person.”

Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, has received international media attention for attacks on both Jews and Muslims in recent years.

Between 2009 and 2011, hate crime reports in the city nearly doubled.

Fred Kahn, president of the Jewish Community in Malmo, said he is “frustrated” by the situation.

“We have worked with the authorities and local politicians to try and make sure that Malmo operates under a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hate crimes… It is not just the Jewish Community that is affected. We are talking about 480 hate crimes in Malmo against Jews, Roma, Muslims and LGBT individuals.

“Either the police are failing in their reporting or the prosecuting authorities have a hard time comprehending that these are hate crimes. Something is not working here.”

The rise in the number of reported antisemitic hate crimes also coincides with the Malmö Jewish Community’s decision to be more vocal about the rise of antisemitism.

“While antisemitism has unquestionably grown in Malmo over the past five to 10 years, I can’t say whether or not there has been an explosive increase since 2010.

“Three years ago we decided to change our approach and tackle the problem head-on. We now encourage our members to report all antisemitic incidents because as long as it doesn’t show up in the statistics, it remains hidden.”

Regional newspaper Sydsvenskan’s analysis of the data shows that in all but seven of the hate crimes reported in Malmo, the prosecutor chose to remove the hate crime motive.

In the cases that were tried in the Malmo district court, the judge ruled they were not hate crime incidents.

Last updated: 3:55pm, January 10 2013