If you search for crime, you can find it in any society. Sadly, in Sweden today, you do not have to search very hard. A casual look at newspapers on any random day will be filled with stories about armed robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, public gang shootings and perhaps explosives in restaurants. This crime wave is no longer merely confined to the major cities. Many smaller towns and some rural communities are now affected as well.
In some Swedish municipalities, harassment and violent threats have become major issues even at public libraries. In the town of Trelleborg, in the autumn of 2017, a gang of 30-50 youths effectively occupied the local library. One mother, who asked that her name not be used, explained that she is now scared to visit the library with her children. The last time she went, visitors were harassed by a loud, aggressive youth gang. When a guard asked the gang-members to leave, they surrounded him. The local police say that they are aware of this problem, but that they do not have sufficient staff to patrol the library every day.
In October 2017, an 81-year-old Swedish woman in the town of Mölndal was harassed and threatened by some youths while walking her dog. A few boys around the age of 12 walked in front of her and blew cigarette smoke in her face; one of them threatened to attack her dog and her. Then he spat her in her face. The woman now says that she is afraid to go out. The local police confirm that elderly people are harassed in similar ways. In a separate incident, some youths stole a loaf of bread from another woman in her 80s.