Growing fears over crime rates in Sweden

According to a recent survey by Swedish opinion research institute Sifo, the Swedes' main fear is violence and criminality. The study coincides with a sharp rise in the number of gang-related crimes. According to the police five people were killed in Stockholm alone last week. Is the fear of crime justified?

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Aftonbladet (SE) /

The politicians' empty response

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has voiced concern over the recent acts of violence. Aftonbladet doesn't find this very helpful:

“If the political establishment never stops talking about worries, it's no surprise when everyone starts worrying. ... More relevant would be for Löfven to start building a safer Sweden. ... The fact is that there aren't that many criminal youths. ... The drug trade, which destroys young lives and fuels wars between criminal gangs, must be combated. The prefabricated high-rises must be renovated, so that children have enough space to do their homework instead of hanging around with friends who are up to no good. ... The voters want a parliament that concentrates on their needs and not on their fears.”

Expressen (SE) /

Citizens not hysterical

Expressen defends itself against the view that fears of violence in Sweden are above all a result of media hype:

“Swedes are most concerned about crime and violence. ... On Radio Sweden a political scientist commented on the survey in the following terms: 'For a long time the media have reported extensively on acts of violence, police operations, shootings and the like.' The report went on to say that the widespread fear among pensioners in southern Sweden could 'be linked to the reports on lethal violence in Malmö'. No doubt it is. But perhaps it's also linked to the violence itself? ... The growing fear is not the result of some sort of 'media-propagated image'. The people have simply analysed the situation correctly.”