At the height of the immigrant influx into Europe in 2014 and 2015, Sweden with a population of 6.7 million, accepted 244,178 asylum seekers – by far, the highest rate per capita in the EU. Since then the rate of violent crime has soared, particularly sexual assault cases.
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The Swedish police have outlined over 50 areas with high immigrant populations that are “marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity.” Of these, 23 have been classified as “especially vulnerable,” or what migration critics call “no-go zones,” where even the police have trouble operating.
Besides the high incidence of gang violence and drug trafficking, residents complain these areas are being virtually colonised by immigrants whose cultures clash with Swedish values. Many Swedes and older immigrants alike have begun to say that Sweden doesn’t feel like Sweden anymore.
Critics of the government’s liberal immigration policies complain the police are afraid to intervene for fear of being accused of racial profiling, while the country’s politically correct press generally brands anyone raising concerns about immigrants as racist.
But now, some people fed up with what they see as the authorities’ inaction have taken matters into their own hands. They have begun to organise groups calling themselves names like ‘The Soldiers of Odin’ to patrol the country’s most blighted neighbourhoods. They are sometimes called vigilantes or racists, but the groups say they want the freedom to live in their own country as it was before the migrant crisis began.