Crime Rates In Sweden
Sir, - I studied with interest the statistics you published on October 31st: "Crimes per 1,000 of Population". I believe that Sweden's ranking at second from the top requires an explanation.The principles according to which crimes are registered and reported vary from country to country. In fact, these differences are so important as to make country-by-country statistics meaningless and misleading.Let me give you a few examples. In many countries only the most serious crime is reported, although other crimes might have been perpetrated at the same time. In Sweden all crimes are reported individually, not only the most serious ones. In many countries also, crimes are registered only when they are proven to have been committed. In Sweden, every reported crime, including attempts and incidents that later prove not to be a crime, are registered. A third example, a case in which a swindler defrauds 1,000 people would be registered in Swedish statistics as 1,000 crimes. In the national statistics of other countries it would be estimated as only one.The principles applied to crime statistics in Sweden thus tend to maximise the number of reported crimes. This might explain our unflattering ranking in your table.Per Lindstrom,Minister,Embassy of Sweden,Dublin 2.