Sweden seeks to stem deadly rise in youth crime

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In the small Swedish city of Örebro, guns are so easy to come by that social services say most of the high-risk young people they work with in relation to youth crime could get hold of one in a day.

Illegal guns – largely from the Balkans, according to police – are relatively accessible in Sweden. As younger and younger children – some as young as 10 – are recruited into the drug trade, the number of them using guns in conflicts with deadly consequences is rising. Police fear it is only a matter of time before guns from Ukraine find their way to Sweden.

“The contacts are there if you want them. Drugs they could get even faster,” said Sabrina Farlblad at the city’s social services’ offices, where two years ago her team formed support groups for young people deemed at risk of becoming involved in violence.

So far the preventative approach appears to be working: as far as social services know, none of the young people who have attended the support groups have been involved in any shootings.

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Ein Service des deutschen Präventionstages.