Currents about the young gang criminals: A system change is required

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According to national police chief Anders Thornberg, both perpetrators and victims of the wave of violence in the Stockholm area are children and young people, and the trend is for gang crime to decrease in age.

Gunnar Strömmer describes the development as both “serious” and “tragic”.

– These young perpetrators, we are talking about children, are used in a very cynical way by those behind the crime, he says.

Strömmer believes that a change is required in the Swedish system to deal with young people who are at risk of ending up in crime.

– Our system for dealing with young people who are on the slide, and who eventually end up in crime, is designed for a different reality than the one we now experience. Therefore, a shift in that system is required in all parts, from the time the children are very small until they become adults.

Police Chief: We have too little knowledge

Police Chief Carin Götblad says that the police have been warning about this development for a long time.

– What is very sad is that there have to be such big problems before we are properly listened to, she says.

She believes that the police have far too little knowledge about the young gang criminals.

– We would need criminologists who look behind the numbers. What makes a 13-14 year old ready to murder someone? says Götblad.

“Clear evidence of segregation”

A large percentage of these young serious criminals are what are usually called second generation immigrants, why is that?

– We know that a lot of people live in the vulnerable areas. They are mostly populated by people with a foreign background. But I wouldn’t be surprised if these young people are third generation immigrants. It is clear evidence of the segregation we have in our society, says Carin Götblad.

She is convinced that the police will break the spiral of violence.

– What breaks crime is that we work long-term and preventively. It is also where schools, social services and the entire civil society come in.