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January 27, 2021



Commentary: Czech anti-immigrant MP has a math problem

12.7.2016 8:36
Tomio Okamura (PHOTO: Lukáš Houdek)
Tomio Okamura (PHOTO: Lukáš Houdek)

The Czech politician Tomio Okamura has reported through Facebook and Twitter, as well as through his video blog, that "Muslim migrants are primarily responsible for the number of rapes in Sweden growing by a multiple of more than 1 500". Since such a claim naturally attracts our attention, let's take a look at it.

What does our analysis reveal? The numbers Okamura is doing his best to present as statistics do not (and cannot) exist.

He is misinterpreting an article that exploits unverified sources and speculation, and that, at the very least, draws dubious correlations. His surprising conclusion adds several "zeros" to the final figure.

Math problem

Okamura has pretty much failed when it comes to working with the numbers. According to the Gatestone Institute, from which he is drawing his data, there were 421 cases of rape reported in Sweden in 1975 and 6 620 cases of rape reported there in 2014.

That is a growth of 1 472 %. Of course, that is not the same as saying an increase by a multiple of 1 500 - if that were the case, then the number of rapes reported in 2014 would not have been 6 620, but approximately 631 921.

In reality, therefore, this is a growth by a multiple of 15 (14.72, to be precise). Okamura has reported it as 100 times larger than it is.

Statistical proof

We must emphasize that this growth in Sweden's rape statistics covers the 40-year period from 1975 to 2014. The year 1975 was the year Sweden changed its foreign policy toward an approach of greater multiculturalism and openness.

That fact is the reason the Gatestone Institute has chosen 1975 as its starting point. This policy change was effected by the adoption of a document called Prop 1975:26, through which the Swedish Parliament unanimously approved the equality of immigrants and Swedes.

That document was a kind of manual for Sweden's newly-enacted multicultural policy, and its development and local significance can be read about here. The Gatestone Institute does admit that in Sweden it is, as the law states, "prohibited to process personal data that reveals... religious or philosophical beliefs" (Section 13, letter c).

This means it is not possible to create statistical data based on people's religious beliefs. Of course, that has not prevented the Gatestone Institute itself from drawing a correlation between increasing immigration generally and the growth in reported cases of rape, on the basis of a long-term trend according to which foreign nationals significantly contribute to crime in Sweden (see the monitoring done by Sweden's National Council for Crime Prevention in 2005 - in Swedish only, here).

What Okamura forgot to say

A significant factor here may have been yet another change to Swedish legislation, this one undertaken in 2005. Sweden (through its law Prop 2004/05:45 - in Swedish only here) significantly expanded the definition of rape, which in practice means that a greater number of cases began to be included in the statistics on rape than had been before.

The National Council for Crime Prevention (the BRÅ) also says this change might influence the statistical numbers and adds that in 2013, another legislative change was undertaken to include victims to the rape statistics whose response during the rape was one of passivity. In 2009, Amnesty International produced a document monitoring the theory and practice of the investigation and prosecution of rape in the Nordic countries, pages 45 to 87 of which describe in detail the problematic aspects of this situation in Sweden.

That same source reports that Sweden uses the so-called extensive statistical model for recording rapes, which includes not just the number of rape victims reported, but the number of incidences of rape. If a victim is subjected to repeated rape by the same perpetrator during one day, then each individual rape will be recorded, provided that it can be specified.

This statistical method also applies to rapes involving more than perpetrator raping the same victim, where each incidence of rape is recorded. This fact can also significantly influence the resulting numbers of rapes recorded.

Another factor may be the Swedish Government's initiative to support the victims of sexually motivated crime with reporting such crimes and collaborating with the authorities. This initiative has been in place since 2010, and even though it is not possible to calculate what its influence on the statistics has been, it must be taken into consideration as a factor.

The differences between the numbers of violent crimes actually perpetrated and the numbers of violent crimes reported to the authorities can also develop in various ways, depending on many other factors. So:  What has our analysis of Okamura's claims revealed?

To reiterate:  The numbers Okamura is doing his best to present as statistics do not (and cannot) exist. He is misinterpreting an article that exploits unverified sources and speculation, and that, at the very least, draws dubious correlations.

His surprising conclusion then adds several "zeros" to the actual final figure. Dear friends, that's it for now about the blog of Tomio Okamura, who is a democratically-elected representative in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. 

Reprinted from the news server, Ivana Procházková, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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