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Sweden wants to ban suspected criminals from certain areas

TT/The Local
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Sweden wants to ban suspected criminals from certain areas
Sweden's justice minister, Gunnar Strömmer, announces the new law on banning people from certain public places. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Sweden's government has announced plans for a new law giving prosecutors powers to ban youths and adults from areas such as shopping centres or school yards if they suspect them of committing crimes.

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According to the new bill, which will be submitted to parliament in the coming weeks with a view to coming into force in February, prosecutors will be able to impose the bans even if the recipient has not been found guilty of committing any crimes. 

"With the support of this law, the idea is that prosecutors, following an application from the police, should be able to forbid a person who is feared to be promoting gang crime from entering a certain area," Sweden's Justice Minister, Gunnar Strömmer, said at a press conference. "These are preventative measures we are talking about". 

Under the proposed law, the bans can be imposed on anyone over the age of 15 without a court decision, with those who ignore the ban at risk of a prison sentence of up to a year.

Bans will last for six months, after which they need to be renewed. 

Those issued such a ban have the right to appeal against it, after which the case can be decided on in court. 

"There has to be a certain level of intelligence underlying such a decision. If you look at the ban on access to libraries, swimming pools or sports facilities, for example, a qualified assessment is still required," Strömmer said.  

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In the most serious cases, he continued, a ban could be imposed on someone entering an entire district of a city. 

The bill is built on the recommendations of the government inquiry on area bans, which was launched by the previous Social Democrat government in May 2022.

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