UK

Nigel Farage 'Plays Race Fear Card' With Inaccurate Story About Swedish Joggers

That's not quite true, is it Nige?

24/11/2017 15:35 GMT | Updated 27/11/2017 07:18 GMT

Nigel Farage has regurgitated an inaccurate story propagated by Breitbart and Infowars as an example of just how perilous Sweden has become because of immigration.

The former-Ukip leader relayed the revelation that a small town on the country’s eastern coast is now so dangerous locals have the option of being accompanied by armed police.

Speaking on his LBC show on Thursday, he said: “The caller earlier who told me how wonderful Sweden was and the picture I was painting was wrong - [In]the Swedish city of Oskarshamn, joggers going out after night will have the option of being accompanied by armed police officers.

“This is something that the local inspector thinks will make people a bit safer at night, going out in a Swedish city.

“Who would have believed I would have said that about a Swedish city just five years ago? It is truly incredible.”

It is truly incredible - and not entirely accurate.

The original report is from Swedish broadcaster, SVT News. It details a police initiative in the city of Oskarshamn to voluntarily launch jogging and walking groups for the public.

The idea is inspired by an increased feeling of “insecurity”, but the man in charge, Inspector Peter Karlsson, adds: “It does not happen so much here, but people are impressed by events around the world and feel unsafe when it’s dark.”

As for the “armed” aspect so emphasised by Farage, it is merely a matter of protocol - police must be “equipped for service” on the runs so have to carry weapons, baton and handcuffs, something which apparently makes the running a little uncomfortable.

The SVT report was published on 18 November and was swiftly picked up by 4Chan the home of, amongst other things, the PizzaGate Conspiracy - the thoroughly debunked story about a Democrat child-smuggling ring being run out of a pizza shop in Washing

ton DC..

Comments on the post mused about the “very vague and mysterious threat for such a serious police program” and were followed by a torrent of anti-Muslim rhetoric. 

A few days later, on the 22nd, the story was picked up by Breitbart who concentrated on the “armed” aspect and ran it as part of their ongoing Swedish coverage that concentrates solely on alleged migrant crimes.

Breitbart
The Breitbart article emphasising the 'armed' aspect

It read: “The issue is particularly bad in troubled heavily migrant-populated suburbs which are often labelled no-go zones.”

The story was also picked up by Infowars, a website that has run such conspiracy theories as “Lady Gaga is a Satanist”, the US Government is controlling the weather with weapons and the Sandy Hook massacre was a false flag operation.

In case Infowars readers were in any doubt about what they should think of the report, the websites picture desk were helpfully on hand.

Infowars
The Inforwars report

These reports were then picked up by numerous people on Twitter including Peter Sweden who, despite what his name suggests, was born in Norway and lives in England and considers himself an expert on criminal events in Sweden.

Previously Sweden has tweeted his views on Holocaust denial and a Jewish-led global conspiracy to create a New World Order although he swiftly deleted references when they came to light.

Twitter
Twitter

A day later Nigel Farage retold the story of the Swedish police initiative on his primetime radio show.

It’s not the first time he’s drawn criticism for his coverage of Sweden - earlier this year his claims that the Swedish city Malmö, was the “rape capital of Europe” were swiftly debunked.

As highlighted by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), “criminal statistics do not provide a simple reflection of the level of crime in a given country”.

Changes in the way sexual assault and rape is recorded in Sweden means there has been an increase in the number of reports over the last ten years.

LATEST:

In response to this article James Savage, a journalist living in Sweden posted a lengthy thread on Twitter.