Populist politicians have alleged that increased crime in Sweden is linked to migration. The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party with links to neo-Nazism, have suggested freezing out asylum seekers and reducing the country’s immigration budget.
But when it comes to intentionally setting fire to cars, said Manne Gerell, a lecturer in criminology at Malmo University, such incidents have increased “big-time” over the past couple decades — but not in the past two or so years.
Across Sweden, around 1500 cars are burned each year, he said. The reasons can range from insurance fraud or hiding other crimes to social unrest and “random youth vandalism.”
In early 2017, riots broke out in a largely immigrant suburb near Stockholm. As The Post reported then, the riots occurred “just two days after President [Donald] Trump provoked widespread consternation by seeming to imply, incorrectly, that immigrants had perpetrated a recent spate of violence in Sweden.”
Sweden is far from the only place where youth have set cars on fire. On recent New Year’s Eves in France, young people have torched hundreds of cars. During recent end-of-year celebrations, around 1000 cars were set on fire a number of years in a row.