In the last two years, the number of so-called vulnerable areas in Sweden has increased. This despite the fact that two years ago, National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson promised to take back control in several areas. In a new interview with Swedish Radio Ekot, he now acknowledges that he has failed. At the same time, he blames the development on "ignorance" by the country's decision makers.
Two years ago, Dan Eliasson promised that the police under his control would take back the so-called vulnerable areas in Sweden.
During 2015 and 2016, the police would take back several areas that had been controlled by criminal gangs, said the head of police.
According to Ekot, his statement was a "very concrete promise".
But Dan Eliasson has not been able to live up to that promise. The number of areas has not decreased. It is not even at the same level as then, but has on the contrary increased.
According to a police report from June 2017, there are 61 areas classified as vulnerable by the police, with a total of 5,000 criminal activities by 200 networks. Of the 61 areas, 23 are classified as particularly vulnerable, which is eight more than in the previous report from 2015.
In an interview today, Dan Eliasson acknowledges that he could not keep his promise. He also believes that the number of vulnerable areas has increased because the country's decision makers do not dare to realize how big and serious the problem is.
"There is some ignorance, there may be a belief that this does not look like Sweden, that it does not fit our self-image," he told Ekot on Saturday.
At the same time, he is still optimistic and believes that new methods and more policemen can reverse the trend. He points out that the police are currently moving more resources to the suburbs and setting up surveillance cameras in insecure areas. Previously, the issue was handled at a national level, but now it is being combated by special people at local levels, he explains. In addition, the police cooperate with other authorities, including the Employment Service and the Social Service in the vulnerable areas.
However, he does not want to make a new promise as to when the number of areas is to be reduced.
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