In a gesture of goodwill, Frank Jensen, the mayor of Copenhagen, has sent a letter to Reepalu, chair of Malmö’s municipal council, in which he references the Danish capital’s efforts to fight criminality by implementing a “safe city” concept, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reports.
“In light of the fact that we have many common challenges, we’re happy to share our experiences and methods with the leaders of Malmö if there is a need for it,” Jensen wrote.
Reepalu has called for a tightening of Sweden’s weapons laws as one measure to help reduce violence in in Malmö, which has experienced eight fatal shootings since May 2011.
The wave of violence has left some people calling Malmö “Little Chicago”, in reference to the American city’s famed prohibition-era gangster wars, a label about which Reepalu is none to happy.
“Clearly I’m saddened by it. To get stuck with a label like that is really awful,” he told the TT news agency.
“At the same time, I’m a bit bothered by the fact that people forget all big cities struggle with these problems.”
While the Copenhagen mayor said we was willing to lend Malmö a helping hand, he added that the Danish capital could also likely benefit from lessons learned in Sweden.
“I’ve paid special attention to how Sweden has succeeded to reduce the number of prison sentences and use other methods to minimize the criminal recidivism.”