Almost Half of Swedes Concerned by Growing Crime and Insecurity

People walk in the main street of the old town in Stockholm, Sweden, where primary schools

Around half of all Swedes are concerned with growing levels of crime and insecurity according to a new survey with young men aged 16 to 19 seeing the largest increase in concern.

The survey, which was conducted by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), revealed that 47 per cent of those who responded expressed concerns over growing levels of crime, up from 43 per cent the year prior.

Feelings of anxiety have increased in cities and remain high in smaller towns and rural areas, according to a report from broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

The largest segment of the population to see an increase in concern over crime is young men aged between 16 and 19-years-old. In 2017, around 22 per cent of young men said they were concerned about crime but in 2019 that number has increased to 32 per cent or nearly one in three.

Sofie Lifvin, an investigator at Brå, explained why there was more anxiety about crime while the proportion of victims has not seen a radical increase, saying: “This can be explained, among other things, by how the media reports on crime and how you think you would suffer if you were the victim of a crime.”

“A clear example of this difference between insecurity and vulnerability is that older people are more worried about being subjected to crime, but at the same time we can see that it is older people who are exposed to the least,” Lifvin suggested.

While overall crime rates have remained somewhat level in recent years, according to a Crime Harm Index (CHI) published by the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing earlier this year the number of serious crimes has drastically increased since around 2006.

Earlier this year, for example, Swedish television broadcaster SVT noted that despite police anti-gang operations and the Wuhan virus outbreak, shootings across Sweden continue to rise. Many of the shootings are linked to gang violence.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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