Sweden: Steep Rise in CrimeI keep hearing claims that I am exaggerating the problems in Sweden. Well, here's a post where I have gathered just a few of the links I have about crime in Sweden. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas. Street violence of all kinds is soaring on a national level. Private security companies are in great demand in major Swedish cities, as a serious lack of police to combat rising crime has made many citizens tired of being robbed. The official number of rape charges in Sweden has more than tripled in 30 years:
"Rape Charges are Rapidly Increasing in Sweden"
Sweden's largest newspaper Aftonbladet reports that "....rape charges are rapidly increasing in Sweden".
The number of reported cases of physical abuse/assault in Stockholm has also tripled in three decades. This steep rise in all kinds of crime and violence has happened at the same time as an unprecedented amount of immigration to the country. Of course, Swedish politicians would never dream of connecting the two. However, in one of those rare cases where a Swedish newspaper has actually told the truth, Aftonbladet revealed that 9 out of the 10 most criminal ethnic groups in Sweden are Muslims. A trend known from other European countries such as France, where Muslims make up 10% of the general population, but 70% of the prison population. Keep this in mind when you read the following information:
Steep rise in underage prisoners
The number of people under the age of 18 who are serving sentences in juvenile detention centres has risen sharply over the last five years. According to prison service figures, there were 123 young people in Sweden's youth units last year. That's an increase of 151% compared to 1999, reported Dagens Nyheter. "Violent crime committed by young people is rising and that is worrying," Minister for Public Health and Social Services, Morgan Johansson, told the paper. Johansson also tried to paint the picture in a more positive light by claiming that another reason for the increase was that more serious crimes involving young people were being solved by police.
Swedish prisoners in riot
A riot by over forty prisoners at a jail in central Sweden ended on Friday night, but not before a prison building had been wrecked by the rebellious inmates. The rebellion, in the 'motivation department' of the Järvsta jail in Gävle, started on Friday evening at half past seven. The motivation department is home to those prisoners classed as particularly difficult to reform. Early reports indicated that prison warders had been taken captive, but this was later denied by police. The prisoners' claimed they were rioting in response to overcrowding at the jail, reported Dagens Nyheter. Inmates armed themselves with iron bars and tried to escape by breaking out of doors and windows, and destroyed all the surveillance cameras in the building.
Swedish Police "Unmotivated" to Fight Rising Crime
Gangs of 14 - 15-year-olds raping and robbing is now common in many Stockholm suburbs. Mafia networks demanding protecting money from private businesses and giving bomb threats to municipal workers are increasingly common. Organized crime is no longer just a problem in the major cities. It has now spread throughout most of Sweden.
Sweden: Bomb threat against provincial daily
Reporters Without Borders voiced shock today that the Norrköpings Tidningar (a daily based in Norrköping, southwest of Stockholm) received an anonymous letter on 23 August warning that four bombs would be set off in the town, one of them next to the newspaper, if it did not stop carrying reports about organised crime and did not apologise for the reports already published. This is the second time the newspaper has been the target of threats of this nature in a month.
Threats against witnesses in Swedish court cases have quadrupled between 2000 and 2003:
Inaction over witness protection slammed
The Justice Department received a proposal to increase protection for threatened witnesses in January 2004, and a committee proposed that the new policy could be implemented a year later. However, DN writes that the only thing the Justice Department has done is send the proposal out for feedback from communities. "Especially in cases dealing with organized crime, we're seeing that threats against witnesses are increasing," she adds. A flurry of escapes last summer (not to mention this summer) overshadowed the issue. But convictions for trying to influence witnesses are increasing, and the issue is again making headlines. The trial of three men for the killing in May of 29-year old Marcus Gabrielsen has helped to move witness protection up the agenda. A number of witnesses to the attack on Gabrielsen in central Stockholm changed their accounts before the case came to court, and none of the men were convicted of the killing, although the prosecutor has said that there is no evidence that the witnesses were threatened. In 2003, 115 people were sentenced to jail for obstructing justice. In 2004 it was 174.
Three gun crimes a day in Sweden
Firearms are used in murders, attempted murders or robberies three times a day in Sweden, according to statistics from the National Police Board. In 2004, police registered 1,187 such crimes involving guns, a similar figure to the previous two years, reported Göteborgs-Posten. But the difference is that the kind of weapon has changed. "Before, there were a lot of shotguns - now it's all automatic weapons," said Per-Olof Johansson, a detective in the Gothenburg police reconnaissance division. "In the last five years we've also confiscated a lot of hand grenades."
Robbers roam highways
Gangs of road pirates pose an increased threat on Swedish highways, Swedish radio news channel SR reported. The highway robbers strike at night, attacking travelers who have parked their mobile homes by the road to sleep. Swedish police said 30 robberies had already been reported this summer, most of them in the southern and western parts of the country. In seven robberies, the pirates sprayed anesthetic gas into the mobile homes to ensure that its residents remained asleep while they stripped the cabin of valuables. Tourists are warned about the robbers when they cross the Øresund Bridge, aboard ferries, and in service areas. The Swedish police said they had contacted European intelligence agency Europol for further information about the road pirates. ‘We suspect they are criminal gangs from the former Yugoslavia,’ said Per-Arne Nilsson from the police in Mölndal, which is in charge of coordinating the Swedish effort against the robberies.
Swedish police test online crime reporting
Uppsala residents are the first in Sweden to test a new method of reporting crimes to the police - via the internet. The trial comes as a result of the new national incident report number, 114 14, receiving 30% more calls than expected since it was introduced six months ago.