Far-right party’s election results "linked to hate-crime claims"

The number of hate crimes being reported in Sweden increased dramatically last year, and it is claimed one reason could be the Sweden Democrat party’s success at the last elections.

Crimes directed at minority groups rose by 20 per cent in 2006, from 393 to 470 compared to the year before, although the number leading to a prosecution dropped by a third.

A professor in criminology at Stockholm University says the Sweden Democrats’ results in the polls could have encouraged more people to report hate crimes.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights says the party’s success has also led to an increased polarisation of society and more hostility towards foreigners.

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