Rising Youth Crime Concerns Grip Sweden

In Örebro, Sweden, illegal firearm accessibility has escalated to the point where most high-risk youth involved in criminal activities could obtain one within a day, according to social workers. As the drug trade enlists even younger children, some as young as 10, the use of firearms among them in deadly conflicts is on the rise. Recent statistics indicate a surge in serious crime prosecutions, including murder and attempted murder, among 15- to 17-year-olds, reaching the highest level since 2019. In the first half of this year, 42 individuals in this age bracket were suspected of attempted murder, in contrast to 38 throughout 2022.

In response to the magnitude of the issue, the Swedish government has announced initiatives to facilitate information sharing among schools, social services, and police. This aims to prevent youth involvement in crime and proactively identify at-risk children. Örebro employs the group violence intervention (GVI) strategy, which involves continuously updating a police intelligence map that tracks individuals linked to or associated with violent crime, complementing the support groups in place.

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