Criminality in Sweden's suburbs

A growing number of business owners are leaving Stockholm's suburbs owing to the rising crime rate, a report published by Stockholm's Chamber of Commerce reveals. How should Swedish authorities and media react to the violence?

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Svenska Dagbladet (SE) /

Violence is a danger for the entire country

Security forces must do more to counter the trend described in the report, Svenska Dagbladet urges:

“The report shows that problems can be effectively tackled with the right measures. Take the city of Södertälje, where sustained police deployment led to the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of numerous serious offenders. The negative trends must be countered. In the long run locations where entrepreneurs close restaurants and businesses, whether it's as a temporary protest or permanently, will lose the security that makes development possible. The same goes for an entire country. Without a functioning business community it will simply grind to a halt.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Lawlessness romanticised for too long

The media are responsible for Swedish society having closed its eyes to crime for so long, Dagens Nyheter argues:

“Unfortunately there has been a long-standing trend in the world of media and culture to romanticise criminality in the suburbs. A picture was painted in which the presence of the police was the cause of the problem rather than the solution: youths felt so provoked by the police presence and their disappointment with society that they had nothing better to do than throw stones at ambulances and set cars on fire. The time has come for us to listen to the business owners and the majority of residents in the suburbs, and not to those who romanticise lawlessness and feel safest when the police are far away.”