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Drinking "behind violent crime"

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12:19 CEST+02:00
A general rise in alcohol consumption in Sweden is making its presence felt in criminal statistics, according to Dagens Nyheter. Last year up to 65,000 violent crimes were reported and the police expect this figure to rise this year.

"We're looking at a worrying development and increase in these type of crimes", said Professor Eckart Kühlhorn, researcher in Social Alcohol Consumption patterns.

Eckart has spent the last thirty years researching Swedish drinking habits and says that over the last decade there's been an increase of 30 per cent in consumption - to over 10 litres of pure alcohol per adult per year. This is equivalent to half a litre Vodka per week, DN helpfully pointed out.

At the same time, violent crime has risen by 20 per cent. At the end of this month the Prevention of Crime Authority is to publish a research paper in which Eckhart presents the connection between crime and alcohol consumption. He claimed he is starting to get "tired with" with politicians "not listening to any warnings issued by researchers".

Unsurprisingly, the most common group of people displaying disorderly behaviour is men between 20 and 30 years of age. Three out of four such troublemakers are drunk, as is every second victim.

"With today's relaxed rules and alcohol available at low prices in the eastern parts of the EU it is evident that this only is the beginning", warned Eckhart.

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