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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Crime in Sweden reaches 'never-before-seen' levels, support grows for Social Democrats, and Stockholm's public transport operator fined over body cameras. Here's the latest news.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Sweden's national police chief Anders Thornberg has published a new opinion piece. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Crime in Sweden at ‘never-before-seen levels’

Crime in Sweden is “exceptional” and has reached a level that’s “never been seen before”, writes national police chief Anders Thornberg in a joint opinion piece with other senior police officials, published in daily newspaper DN on Monday morning.

They argue that the nature of crime has become more complex.

“Plaintiffs, witnesses and perpetrators who previously spoke to police and testified in court now almost never provide any information. This makes investigations significantly more difficult. Successful prosecution often requires other, hard-to-find evidence,” they write, calling for more staff, increased cooperation between Swedish authorities and legislation that would give police more effective tools at their disposal.

In the latest episode of The Local’s Sweden in Focus podcast, we speak with award-winning crime reporter Diamant Salihu about why fatal shootings reached record levels last year. You can listen to the episode on our podcast page. Or you can find it here:

Swedish vocabulary: police – polis

Teenage boy held on suspicion of murder

A 15-year-old boy has been detained on suspicion of shooting another teenage boy to death at a restaurant in Skogås, south of Stockholm, at the end of January. Three boys, aged between 15 and 17, are now under investigation in connection with the shooting.

The 15-year-old boy’s lawyer said he denied the allegations.

There has been a series of shootings and explosions in the Stockholm area since Christmas Day, when a gang criminal was shot dead in the suburb of Rinkeby. Police have confirmed that several of the incidents are linked, but there is not yet any evidence of links between them and the Skogås shooting, the prosecutor told the TT newswire.

Swedish vocabulary: detained – häktad

New poll shows rising support for Social Democrats

The centre-left Social Democrats, who have been in opposition since Sweden’s September election, soar to 36.7 percent in a new poll-of-polls by Kantar Sifo on behalf of public radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio Ekot. They got 30.33 percent in the election.

Together with its left-wing allies the party gets 54.0 percent, almost ten percentage points more than the ruling Moderates and its allies. The Moderates themselves climb to 18.8 percent, overtaking the far-right Sweden Democrats who drop to 18.0 percent.

The CEO of Kantar Sifo told Ekot that much of the public debate is currently focused on the economy, an area where the Social Democrats usually enjoy strong confidence.

Swedish vocabulary: support – stöd

Stockholm public transport operator fined over body cameras

Stockholm’s local public transport operator SL will have to cough up eight million kronor in fines over how the company’s ticket inspectors used their body cameras.

According to the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection, the cameras recorded too long periods of time and were used to identify fare dodgers, in violation of the rules. It originally fined SL 16 million kronor but the appeals court lowered the sum, writes DN.

SL after the initial fine in 2021 changed their cameras recording time to no more than 15 seconds, and started taking still images rather than filming travellers without a ticket.

Swedish vocabulary: a fare dodger – en tjuvåkare / en plankare

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For members


Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

How stable are Swedish banks, who runs Sweden's local authorities, and is the English language a threat to Swedish? Here's that and more in the latest news on Wednesday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Who runs Sweden’s municipalities?

They may frequently be at odds in Sweden’s national parliament, but the right-wing Moderates and left-wing Social Democrats cooperate more and more on a municipal level, a new report by the umbrella organisation for Sweden’s local authorities shows.

Eighty-six out of Sweden’s 290 municipalities are now run by various kinds of coalitions.

The most common coalition (27 municipalities) is made up of the parties of the former centre-right Alliance: the Moderates, Centre, Liberals and Christian Democrats.

But the second most common (20 municipalities) is a cross-bloc coalition of the Social Democrats and Moderates, who are often seen as the two main rivals in Swedish politics.

Swedish vocabulary: a municipality – en kommun

Hungary to ratify Finland on Monday – but not Sweden

Hungary is set to ratify Finland’s Nato membership on Monday, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg confirmed. Sweden will however have to wait.

Hungary and Turkey are the only two countries that have yet to ratify Sweden’s Nato membership. The former has said that it plans to accept Sweden, and it was not immediately clear why Sweden would not be part of the vote on Monday.

“They will continue [the process with Sweden], but won’t [vote] on Monday,” Swedish news agency TT quoted Stoltenberg as telling reporters on Tuesday.

Swedish vocabulary: a membership – ett medlemsskap

Swedish banks not in need of liquidity support

Swedish banks are stable and will manage without crisis aid, said Riksbank chief Erik Thedéen, after struggling banks in Switzerland and the US stirred global concern.

“Swedish banks have no liquidity problems today,” TT quoted him as saying after a meeting of senior finance representatives in Sweden on Tuesday.

Daniel Barr, head of Finansinspektionen, Sweden’s financial market watchdog, also said that there was little risk that similar problems would spread to Sweden.

But he added: “We should be humble, because we haven’t seen the last of this. Things could change in a week or two.”

Swedish vocabulary: humble – ödmjuk

Do Swedes consider the English language a threat to Swedish?

Around 33 percent of Swedes in a new study from Novus on behalf of Språktidningen said that they felt that English represented a threat to Swedish, although almost twice as many – 63 percent – answered that English did not pose any threat to Swedish.

“English influences are often singled out as a threat to the future of Swedish,” said Anders Svensson, editor-in-chief of language magazine Språktidningen. “However, there’s a generational divide in the view on English.”

“Among Swedes over 65, a total of 51 percent see English as a threat. Among those aged 30 to 49, only 23 percent see English as a threat.”

Swedish vocabulary: a threat – ett hot