Fresh statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå) show that in 2007, women were suspected for more than 10 percent of threats or violent crimes.
The figure represents a doubling from the level recorded 12 years earlier.
The absolute number of cases has risen from 2,500 in 1995 to 4,700 in 2007. The 86 percent increase is more than three times the corresponding 26 percent rise in the number of similar crimes committed by men.
Nevertheless, men are still responsible for roughly four out of five criminal offences overall.
“We’re seeing that an ever increasing number of [criminal] suspects are women. It’s rising in most types of crime and perhaps is most noticeable in specific forms of threats or violent crime,” said Brå’s Solveig Hollari to Sveriges Radio.
Traffic violations and fraud is also increasing at a faster rate among women when compared to men.
Brå has reviewed statistics tracking the development of the phenomenon in Sweden for the past 12 years and plans to publish the results later this autumn.
Possible explanations for the rise include an increased propensity to report crimes, as well as recognition that women are also capable of violence.