Today, the NGO Tryggare Sverige presented a new study that shows how the residents of 15 'problem areas' themselves assess the safety situation of where they live.
"There are a lot of opinions and little knowledge. Some areas in Malmö (southern Sweden) has for a long time received a bad reputation, but our study shows that other areas are perceived as least as unsafe by the inhabitants themselves, if not more," said Magnus Lindgren, Secretary General of Tryggare Sverige, to daily Dagens Nyheter.
The survey is based on the same questionnaire used in other areas for several years in Sweden. The difference this time is that the investigation is concentrated on the 15 problem areas that the government has prioritized in a special project called "Urban 15".
About 100 people per residental area have answered various questions about the safety where they live. For example if they have problems with street gangs, drunkenness, drug addicts, if they are worried about being harrased when they are out walking, the traffic and much more.
Then the answers are weighted together in an index from zero to six. Zero means no problems, and six means extreme difficulties. The study gives Tensta 4.15, which is an extremely high value. Herrgården in Malmö got 3.85, slightly ahead of another Stockholm district, Rinkeby, who got 3.82.
The study was conducted during May and June. Just then, both Tensta and Rinkeby problems with the unrest, which could have affected the results.
But the survey also shows that there is hope for problem areas. Hovsjö and Ronna, two districts of Södertälje, south of Stockholm, has gained significantly in safety since previous surveys. There are still major problems, but the situation has improved in recent years.
Magnus Lindgren think that safety measures taken by the municipal housing company may be behind the improvement. But worth noting is also that the police recently busted the criminal network that held parts of the city in a strangelhold.
Measuring unsafety and identifying certain neighborhoods as problem areas is sensitive. But Magnus Lindgren believes that a prerequisite to overcome these problems is to describe them.
“Therefore, this study is important,” he told Dagens Nyheter.
Top-ten unsafe problem areas
Södra Sofielund, Malmö
Norra Biskopsgården, Gothenburg