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Crime falls when Sweden 'drinks like Europe'

The Local/rm · 2 Nov 2011, 10:26

Published: 02 Nov 2011 10:26 GMT+01:00

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”We have changed from a 'spirit culture' to more of a 'beer-and-wine culture'. We have made our alcohol consumption more 'continental',” said criminologist Sven Granath, from the National Council of Crime Prevention (Brottsförebygganderådet, Brå) to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.

The connection between drinking and violent crime has always been strong in Sweden, according to Granath.

During the period when Swedes have been more prone to heavy drinking, levels of violent crime have risen accordingly.

”Swedes drank rather a lot during the first half of the 19th century. And during the same time, more people per capita were killed through violent crime,” Granath told the paper.

During the second half of the century the state started regulating alcohol consumption of the population by outlawing home distilling and establishing controlled outlets for alcohol sale.

According to Granath, these measures led to a decrease in both murders and manslaughter in Sweden.

But in more modern times, the connection between alcohol and violent crime has weakened, according to Granath.

In the 1980s the number of incidents of alcohol-related murder and manslaughter levelled out without consumption changing much, while consumption increased in the 1990s at the same time as violent crimes decreased.

Story continues below…

One of the reasons for this development is the change in Swedish drinking habits to a more continental style of drinking, according to Granath. Swedes are more likely to have a drink every day than binge-drinking on the weekend.

However, there is no denying that there is a strong connection between alcohol consumption and crime and that both perpetrators and victims are often heavily intoxicated, said Granath.

”If you look at statistics of murder and manslaughter, close to 50 percent of both victims and offenders are very drunk at the time of the offence,” Granath told the paper.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:50 November 2, 2011 by yourkidding
Hej, It's no problem now because, according to a swedish court ruling, If you are drunk and kill someone, OBS! it is just a misfortune and just cus you were a little drunk. But it is not a crime. So I guess the crime rate now will go down like crazy.
12:20 November 2, 2011 by GeoC
Let's clarify this article with another:


Since there is no one to blame it is not manslaughter is it? It's called manipulating numbers.
12:27 November 2, 2011 by Tennin
I agree with comments #1 and #2. Just the other day there was an article about being drunk as an excuse to get away with crime and murder here in Swedish court system.

Feels like the government is fudging with the actual crime rate with alcohol involved.
13:25 November 2, 2011 by Roy E
Ah, so that's how it's done!

Wine from a plastic bag, through a push button spigot, into a plastic mug.

It's always quite embarrassing to discover that you've been doing it all wrong for so many years.
16:08 November 2, 2011 by Grokh
"We have changed from a 'spirit culture' to more of a 'beer-and-wine culture'.

he is kidding right? Sweden has severe alcoohol problems , nothing has changed.
20:17 November 2, 2011 by swedejane
And nothing says responsible alcohol consumption like wine from a plastic bag being poured into a giant plastic mug.
00:56 November 3, 2011 by willowsdad
Doesn't Sweden have lots of restrictions and high taxes on alcohol? Yet don't countries without these blessings have fewer problems with alcohol?
02:29 November 3, 2011 by Grokh
@willowsdad That's because they already had problems with alcohol before the high taxes and restrictions specially because of how hard it was to live in Sweden in the beginning of last century.

just like in mexico all drugs are legal but they still have drug related violence , the problems were there before. making it legal or ilegal , taxed or untaxed wont change the problems.
17:15 November 4, 2011 by Borilla
With a police force that doesn't show up when you call them for help, exactly how accurate are the statistics?
19:11 November 4, 2011 by Observant
My God when will Joe Public realise that Sweden has NO morals, no justice and are just two-faced and double standards. This is known as Swedish democracy.
19:25 November 4, 2011 by Kahmoudi
I really need to come to Sweden and rob a jewelry store while drunk. I'm sure I'll get off and they'll probably allow me to keep the jewelry because somehow my civil rights were violated by the owner and police. Perhaps I should also convert to Islam and wear a burka while doing so. Of course I will blame my drunken state to being an oppressed Black woman from a third world county in South America (actually they have cell phones, internet and satellite tv) subjugated to a religion that views me as lesser than men. Furthermore, I may have felt discriminated against by ethnic Swedes who may have been thinking they didn't like because of my race, immigrant status, my fabulous showy designer shoes/ clothes not to mention NY accent. OMG!!! I will be the best victim ever in Sweden!!!Yeah me!!! Will get tons of gifts and prizes!!!! Seriously, what is wrong with your legal system? People need to wake up out of their state induced catatonia and save yourselves.I don't get the immigration policies or much else about allowing people with no viable means of supporting themselves to flood your country then making demands.Then they get to bring more relatives to be on welfare!!!! My mother came to America when I was 3, had to work as a maid before becoming a nurse then had to prove she could support herself and child before I was allowed to come to America. I don't think that's unreasonable. I wanted to emigrate to New Zealand at one point and had to prove I had money and means to support myself and children. Sounds fair to me. I kind of understand MAYBE letting people have aide for a set period (2/3 years?) but it shouldn't be a lifestyle and allowing more relatives to come to be on aide should not be an option until they (original immigrants) are able to support themselves. It's called personal responsibility and...pride.

Do Not Understand what Sweden is doing but finding reading about it very interesting. Okay, rant over. Btw, no one needs to write me about poverty. I still remember what it's like not to have running water, using outhouses, walking bare feet and having people die of easily treated illnesses. It's been almost 40 years since coming to America and years since I visited but somethings you never forget.
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