Sarnecki and Springare
Criminology professor Jerzy Sarnecki (left) and police officer Peter Springare. Credit: Claudio Bresciani/SCANPIX/TT, Isabelle Strengbom/Sveriges Radio

Police officer reported for social media post about immigrant crime

Peter Springare: My posts are compared to some sort of racism
3:18 min

A police officer in Örebro has come under fire for posting a Facebook update linking crimes committed by immigrants to what he describes as a collapse of the Swedish welfare system. He has now been reported to the police by his own superiors.

Peter Springare, who works at the serious crimes unit in Örebro, took to Facebook last Friday, writing a post where he accounts for the cases he's been working on in the past week.

He goes on to list the countries the suspects came from, saying only one was from Sweden. In the same post, he writes that Sweden's elderly care, schools, healthcare, and police, are in a state of chaos.

"When it comes handling and investigation of serious crimes of violence, I can see there's a heavy over-representation of criminal immigrants," Springare told Swedish Radio's local news in Örebro.

The post received a lot of attention, both positive and negative. Springare has now been reported to the police by his own superiors, and an investigation is on-going.

Many of the people who commented on Springare's post have praised him for 'daring to speak out.'

But according to criminology professor Jerzy Sarnecki at the Stockholm University, there is nothing new or sensational about that part of Springare's statement.

It is a known fact that immigrants are over-represented in crime, and this was shown for the first time in a study back in 1974, he told Swedish Radio in Örebro. Sarnecki says the main reason for this is that these people tend to come from poor backgrounds.

What the criminology professor finds upsetting is the links Springare makes between immigrant crime and the claimed collapse of the Swedish welfare system.

"If you look at statistics, immigrants are almost as over-represented among doctors in Sweden, as among people suspected of crime, he said.

"And also, those welfare institutions haven't broken down. On the contrary, by international comparison, we stand out quite positively," Sarnecki added.

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