The pilot project was intended to keep young people from being recruited into criminal gangs. Government ministers and the National Police Board have called it a success with remarkable results and plan to extend the model to around 30 municipalities or districts.
Under the project several agencies work together with one young person, which means they share confidential information which otherwise would be kept within each agency.
But, Kaliber reports, an evaluation commissioned by the National Police Board, concludes that it is difficult to see how the participants’ criminal behavior has been affected. That study has not been presented by the government or police. Instead, the National Police Board says that in Linköping only 5 of the 17 young people in the project have been reported for committing new crimes.
Kaliber says that figure is incorrect, and in fact should be 10 of the 17, twice what the police are claiming.
Johannes Knutsson, professor in Police Research, tells Kaliber there is no support for calling the project successful: “To write as they do ‘We see that our work has made a difference’ is no serious….there’s no way to be able to say that.”
However, Justice Minister disagrees with the criticism. She tells Swedish Radio News “Don’t underestimate that this is taking on the problem of the young people who are most at risk. We have to find better working methods and that means we have to start somewhere.”