Sweden learns from New York to tackle Malmö crime

A new programme to prevent young people from getting caught up in gang crime was presented by the government today, drawing inspiration from a US model.

At a press conference in Malmö on Tuesday, Justice Minister Morgan Johansson announced a SEK 40 million investment in crime prevention.

The programme covers a broad range of areas, including strategies aimed at young people running the risk of getting involved in gang crime.

The minister said he would like to see more Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Sweden, a method that encourages property owners and businesses to fund the improvement of urban residential areas, making them safer places to live.

The idea originated in Toronto, Canada, but has been enthusiastically embraced in the US. New York leads the way with 67 such districts.  

A BID has already been set up in the Sofielund area in Malmö. They are also operating in some areas in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

“It’s a concept we’ve borrowed from the US and Canada, but we’re remaking it into a Swedish model,"Johansson said at the press conference.

"I have great hopes for this type of collaboration, a perfect example of how to combine private and public society." 

The red-green government also proposed bringing in a 90-day guarantee, under which no young person should be out of work or not engaged in training or education for more than 90 days.