Daily Archives: February 7, 2012

What’s going on in Malmö?

The city of Malmö has been having a bit of a problem with violence.

Just a few days ago, a man was shot (and killed) in his car making the third homicide in the city since the year began.  Several hours after the most recent killing, a pipe bomb was detonated outside a police station in the city.

In typical Swedish style the police released a statement, saying that they were “embarrassed and irritated” by the crime problem in the city.

huh…Yeah, homicides and bombs can really get under your skin.

But there seems to be some dynamic going on in Malmö that is distinct from the rest of the country.  Statistics from the National Council on Crime Prevention show…

…that in 2011, firearms were used in 13 cases per 100,000 residents in Malmö, compared with four in Stockholm and six in Gothenburg.

Now, English language stories about this subject are only a small slice of what’s available on this story so I’m only getting a portion of a portion of this story.  Still, the decision to close the entrance to the hospital in Malmö sounds like this is not a problem of ‘crazy kids’, ‘crackheads’ or some other unorganized crime phenomenon.

As a crowd of some 60 people began to gather outside the entrance, the police were forced to push them back in a bid to secure those inside.

“The staff felt threatened by the large quantity of people trying to push in,” said Mats Hansson of the Malmö health care union to DN.

The authorities claimed that it was necessary to close the entrance to reduce the risk of criminal gangs who are involved in the ongoing escalation of violence in Skåne getting inside and causing even more trouble.

Maddeningly, it’s not clear from the story who these 60 people were or what they wanted.

Now, one of the taboo subjects in polite Swedish society is the role immigration has played on crime.  One the one hand, there’s some history of racism and immigration is an easy scape goat for other societal ills.  On the other, Sweden has an incredibly liberal immigration policy and a less than stellar approach to integration.

So, for example, according to the Wiki of Pedia, Malmö has an immigrant population of 30%.  That need not be a matter of concern but if you look at the country of origin of many of these immigrants it does read like a ‘who’s who’ of organized criminal group homelands.

  1. Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Former Yugoslavia (14,450)
  2. IraqIraq (10,000)
  3. DenmarkDenmark (9,200)
  4. PolandPoland (6,900)
  5. LebanonLebanon (3,900)
  6. IranIran (3,600)
  7. Palestinian territoriesPalestine (2,500)
  8. TurkeyTurkey (2,300)
  9. AfghanistanAfghanistan (2,100)
  10. RomaniaRomania (2.050)

And let’s be clear here.  In comparison with cities in the U.S., Malmö is a crime free Utopia.  It has more than a quarter million inhabitants.  The city of…oh….Trenton, NJ has about a third of that population and an equal number of homicides so far this year.

But some of the crime trends are disturbing.  Whereas, a lot of violent crime in the U.S. like this (some dude shot in his car at night) is usually drug dealer vs. drug dealer (or associates), there’s also been a rise in anti-Semetic and anti-immigrant crime in the city.

The police in Malmö have registered a total number of 21 anti-Semitic crimes and 105 crimes against immigrants in the first half of 2011.

The total number last year was 20 and 116, respectively, for the same type of crimes.

ugh…this is pretty depressing.  How about some Roller Derby?