Recently, children found explosive material hidden in a sandbox in the Sorgenfri elementary school in Malmö, Sweden, according to Sveriges Radio. Last year there were 257 reports of explosions in Sweden -- including attempted explosions -- an increase of 59% compared to 2018, according to SVT Nyheter. Yet, only seven people have been convicted for any of those 257 crimes. Pictured: Police inspect the damage caused by an explosion in central Stockholm on January 13, 2020. (Photo by Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
The number of children who rob other children has increased by 100% in only four years, according to a new study by Swedish police about reported violent crimes in which children under the age of 15 are both the victims and the perpetrators. In 2016, there were 1,178 robberies against children under 18 years of age. In 2019, the number had increased to 2,484. The number of violent crimes where the suspect is a child under 15 years of age has also gone up dramatically: In 2015, there were 6,359 reported violent crimes where the suspect was a child under 15. In 2019, that number had increased to 8,719 reported violent crimes.
The crimes involve "Violence to the head, kicks, gun threats, burning with lighters, threats to kill, threats to bomb the school, stabbings with food knives, bites and children who have been scratched, dragged, thrown and locked up by other children".
The lowest age of a suspected perpetrator was seven. There has also been an increasing number of girl gangs. One girl was violently assaulted by a gang of five girls who kicked her, beat her and spat at her. The girl said she thought she was going to die.
"It's ordinary children who are robbed on their way to and from school, they are called 'whore' and told that they're going to get a Glock in the mouth. I think we are letting the kids down", said regional police chief Carin Götblad.
Crimes committed by children under 15 years of age are not investigated by the police; they are left to the social workers. "When we get [such cases], we send [them] to [the social workers] and then it goes a little under the radar. This is not something we have discussed before," said Götblad, who criticized municipalities for not taking crimes committed by children seriously enough.
"I think there is an inherent reflex to ignore it because it's not very nice, but then we who are professionals need to look at this in particular and raise awareness. I am terribly worried about all vulnerable victims of crime," Götblad said. "The suspects are also victims in some sense, but this is still something we have to deal with, that children also commit crimes".
According to Götblad, parents are afraid to report the crimes committed by other children against their children.
"Parents are afraid of threats and harassment of their children", said Götblad. "It's really important to report, [but] at the same time I can't say I don't understand their fear".
The parents may not only be motivated by fear, but by an unwillingness -- or inability -- of Swedish authorities to help them and ensure the safety of their children -- a basic duty of authorities everywhere.
In August 2019, 13-year-old Filip and his family had no other choice than to move from the city of Uppsala after a gang of minors made his life there unbearable. He was abused, robbed and his life was threatened by gangs, with Swedish authorities telling him not to report it to the police as this would make things "worse" for him. The police even told the family that moving was their best option.
When authorities fail to honor their responsibilities, lawlessness results. This is visible in all of Swedish society, not only with respect to children.
Recently, children found explosive material hidden in a sandbox in the Sorgenfri elementary school in the city of Malmö, according to Sveriges Radio. It is still unclear who put them there.
Last year there were 257 reports of explosions -- including attempted explosions -- an increase of 59% compared to 2018, according to SVT Nyheter. Yet, only seven people have been convicted for any of those 257 crimes. In 2020, at least 10 explosions have already taken place.
In addition to the rise in crimes against children and the rise in explosions, the number of reported rapes against women also increased by 10% in 2019, compared to the previous year, with a total of 4,670 reported rapes. The number of reported rapes against men has also soared by 35% to 260 reported cases. Reported rapes against children remained unchanged at around 3,400.
As previously noted by Gatestone Institute, this summer, a private foundation, Det Goda Samhället ("The Good Society") published a report based on statistics from Swedish authorities. The report showed:
"For the first time now, more crimes -- in absolute terms -- are committed by persons of foreign background than by persons of Swedish origin... The most crime-prone population subgroup are people born [in Sweden] to two foreign-born parents".
According to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, however, Sweden's problems with gang violence would supposedly have been the same without immigration. When asked in November 2019 about the links between mass immigration and gang violence, Löfven refused any connection, while indirectly acknowledging, in a somewhat self-contradictory manner, that gang violence is an imported problem:
"We didn't use to have this kind of [gang] violence then but now we have it... The segregation is because there is too low employment and too high unemployment in these areas. But that would have been the same regardless of who had lived there. If you would put people born in Sweden in the same conditions, you would get the same result."
John Richardson is a researcher based in the United States.