When Swedish integration minister Ylva Johansson of the country’s ruling liberal party was asked about skyrocketing rape statistics on a BBC News show, she denied the truth.
Johansson claimed that there is “no connection between crime and immigration” and said the frequency of rape in Sweden is “going down, and going down, and going down.”
Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage recently called the city of Malmo in Sweden “the rape capital of Europe.”
When asked if this was true, Johansson flatly denied the facts, claiming that Farage “doesn’t really know what he is talking about.”
The integration minister continued, “The level of rapes is not actually high in Sweden.” However, latest figures prove that she is wrong. There was actually a “13 percent increase in reported sex crimes in Sweden in 2016, and there has been a general increase over the past ten years.”
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Her misleading comments sparked outrage among some of her fellow Swedes. “We don’t need more fake news,” said the Moderate Party’s labour policy spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson via Twitter.
Asking Johansson to explain herself, Svantesson asked, “In what way is the number of sex crimes decreasing?”
Bra att ministern backar för det är allvarligt när en regeringsmedlem sprider fake news. pic.twitter.com/2eqxqq5p92
— Elisabeth Svantesson (@ElisabethSvan) March 4, 2017
On Saturday, Johansson told a local newspaper that she did not actually have updated statistics. “I based my answer on information that I had at the time … that the number of reports of rapes went down in 2015,” she said, apologizing for her gaffe.
“It was wrong of me to speak of a development that was only based on one year. The preliminary figures for 2016, unfortunately, show that the figures are on the rise. It’s important to be correct, of course.”
Reports from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) showed that the number of rapes in 2015 did go down 12 per cent. However, the number of reported rapes rose 13 per cent in 2016 — going from 4,208 in 2006 to 6,560 in 2016.
During the BBC interview, Johansson also claimed, “We cannot see a connection between crime and immigration.”
She admitted that there have been “some problems” due to the country’s record-breaking influx of immigrants, but she explained that crime levels have actually lowered. “We have been an immigration country for twenty years … in the same time, the crime level has gone down.”
Her critics note that during the 2015 migrant crisis, there was a time when Swedish police actually lost control of many urban, migrant-controlled neighborhoods, called “no-go zones.”
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