Recently, a lot of attention has been brought to the fact that teenagers are becoming an increasingly bigger part of the criminal environment in Sweden.foto: KoolShooters
The boy who is now arrested for the murder of a policeman in Gothenburg is only one amongst many teenagers who have committed serious crimes involving deadly violence. According to statistics from Brå, the Counsil of crime prevention, the combination of teenagers and deadly violence is becoming more common. The number of convicted young people has increased from 14 during 2014, to 40 during 2020.
A good example of an environment where more teenagers are acting out in deadly violence is Stockholm, where one of the most violent gangs called Husbys Hyenas has started recruiting teenagers from SiS-residences. They have also taken control over the drug market in Stockholm, putting them in conflict with other gangs from nearby areas and causing fatal shootings. According to DN:s reports, five teenagers in the age 17-18 are now arrested for attempting murder this year.
SiS stands for “Statens institutions styrelse”, and it is a governmental institution that takes care of people with severe psychosocial problems. Therefore, it is relevant when talking about preventive work, as the residences are often a last resort when it comes to preventive efforts. Up until now, 133 escapes from these residences have been registered, and Arash Zinat Bakhsh made a comment to DN saying that “ It is not good if the SiS-residence are not maintaining an adequate quality, more I cannot say”. However, policemen that DN has spoken to does not fully agree, making the following statement: “Thinking that SiS-treatment will have any effect on this category of guys is sadly very naive. Perhaps they sleep and eat better, but from experience we know that they often sit around planning their criminal comeback.”
The newspaper Dagens nyheter has reviewed several murder investigations that are actual, and they have reported how difficult the preventive work against youth criminality actually is in practice. According to Brå a good education and school environment is very important, but in many cases not enough. Responsibility to develop a functioning system for preventive work lies on the municipalities, and Morgan Johansson, minister of justice has made the following statement to DN: “ When the government provide efforts that can fight crimes and cage the most criminally active individuals, then the preventive operation that the municipalities stand for must match those efforts.”
Preventive work can imply many things: social efforts, family therapy, treatment for drug addiction, etc and the question of how to end gang criminality and prevent criminality is currently a very hot topic in Sweden. Morgan Johansson made a promise in January saying that the security at SiS-residences and treatments would be improved, and that a form of “aftercare” would be established and apply to teenagers convicted for violence crimes after they have been released. Nonetheless, these plans have not yet been put to practice.