Career criminality drains millions from Sweden

Career criminals cost Swedish society so much that the government needs to take youth criminality more seriously, not only for the individual's sake, but also to keep costs in check, two economists have claimed

Career criminality drains millions from Sweden

Ingvar Nilson and Anders Wadeskog used the town of Södertälje, one hour south of Stockholm, for their research because it has been plagued by criminal networks in recent years.

“We confirmed what we suspected, that the costs are enormous, but you can’t see them at once because there are so many different actors involved,” Nilson told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The review took into account the costs of social services, police and courts costs, and other state-financed safety networks such as social security.

A robbery costs Sweden 226,000 kronor ($35,000), the researchers found, while an assault costs 203,000 kronor.

Aggravated assault, if it leaves the victim with permanent disabilities, can end up with a price tag of 50 million kronor.

The result of the study, which was commissioned by the anti-youth violence NGO Akta huvudet (Watch Your Head), illustrates the need for more preventative work, the report authors argued.

“The sums of money that now go into preventative work are very modest compared to the costs of crime,” Nilsson said.

He and Wadeskog looked closely at young Swedes, mostly boys, who risk slipping into chronic criminality.

Only in Södertälje, they said, there are 600 boys who risk dabbling in crime. Of them, about 50 may slip into a life of crime.

The researchers calculated that if the youths do end up becoming career criminals, each one will cost society 80 million kronor before they turn 40.

“To put a stop to this when the boys are 10-years old is cheap compared to what they’ll cost later,” Nilson said.

TT/The Local/at

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Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

Connected cars are increasingly exposed to security threats. Therefore, a major government initiative is now being launched via the research institute Rise.

Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

More and more technical gadgets are now connected to the internet, and cars are no exception. However, the new reality raises questions about security, and from the Swedish side, an initiative is now being launched to combat cybercrime in the car industry through the government research institute Rise.

“We see a great need (for action), in regards to cyber-attacks in general and solving challenges related to the automotive industry’s drive to make cars more and more connected, and in the long run, perhaps even self-driving,” Rise chief Pia Sandvik stated.

Modern cars now have functions that allow car manufacturers to send out software updates exactly the same way as with mobile phones.

In addition to driving data, a connected car can also collect and pass on technical information about the vehicle.

Nightmare scenario

However, all this has raised questions about risks and the worst nightmare scenario in which someone could be able to take over and remotely operate a connected car.

Sandvik points out that, generally speaking, challenges are not only related to car safety but also to the fact that the vehicle can be a gateway for various actors to get additional information about car owners.

“If you want to gain access to information or cause damage, you can use different systems, and connected vehicles are one such system. Therefore, it is important to be able to test and see if you have robust and resilient systems in place,” she said.

Ethical hackers

Initially, about 15 employees at Rise will work on what is described as “Europe’s most advanced cyber security work” regarding the automotive industry.

Among the employees, there are also so-called “ethical hackers”, i.e., people who have been recruited specifically to test the systems.

“These are hackers who are really good at getting into systems, but not with the aim of inflicting damage, but to help and contribute to better solutions,” Sandvik noted.