Crime Prevention Policy in Sweden during the 21th-Century

Glenn Svedin, Mid Sweden University

This paper discusses the rather radical changes in crime prevention policy in Sweden during the last twenty years. Swedish political debate has in recent years been dominated by topics such as crime and punishment, immigration and integration. For instance, immigration and crime came to be some of the most important questions for voters in the 2018 parliamentary elections, according to different surveys. The politicization of criminal policy, which is clearly visible today, has roots several decades back. Already in the 1970s, crime policy became an area for politicians to profile themselves and their party on, in order to get votes. The politicization of crime has increased during twenty-first century, especially since the so-called refugee wave in 2015. In recent years, the parliamentary parties have overall agreed on the need for more police officers, tougher punishments and firm actions against criminal gangs in the suburbs. This is a rather unique and significant change in Swedish party politics. In this paper, the shift in crime prevention policy in Sweden in the twenty-first century is analyzed. The following research questions have been defined: What conceptions of crime and criminals have emerged in the political debate since the turn of the century? What strategies have nationally been discussed to reduce crime? What strategies have been implemented in the law and in practice?

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 186. Crime policy and mass incarceration