Who is in charge in Sweden?Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 14:52 | Posted in Sweden | 22 Comments
I wrote yesterday about a suburban Stockholm subway station being closed on evenings since Christmas Eve because the police and private security guard firms say they are unable to restore law and order at the station. Passengers and the subway personnel have been terrorized by youth gangs firing fireworks rockets into trains and even at people. My post received much more response than I would have expected.
Some of the comment authors seem to have missed my point. I was not primarily addressing the well known fact that the suburb of Rinkeby is populated by a large number of immigrants and Swedes with a low socio economic status. My most relevant point was that if the government surrender and fail to address the obvious chaos out there the situation is likely to get worse very soon.
Now that the Rinkeby station has been closed in the evenings and a further closing is being considered I am not surprised to learn that the gangs have moved to the nearby station of Tensta to continue their terror over there. Now the officials are considering to close that station as well. There is no word that the government would even have been discussing the option of enforcing the law and bringing life in these suburbs back to normal.
As former politician Johan Ingerö writes in his blog, this is an enormous victory for the criminal gangs. They have the power to close the transport services for thousands of citizens and they are not being held accountable for their actions. Klas joins my evaluation that the Swedish government is just as little in charge at the moment as the Zimbabwean government is in control over that country’s economy.
Some of the comments added to my previous post unfortunately have a racist undertone. The color of the skin of these hooligans is not an issue here. However, as one comment author points out, it is questionable if the police and the government would have been as indifferent about the events if similar events had taken place in a residential area populated by wealthy white people.
There is no doubt that Sweden has made serious mistakes in the past in their efforts to cope with immigrants. One of the most obvious mistakes is the heavily segregated housing policy in Stockholm and other cities. However, at this acute situation addressing the past mistakes is not the first priority.
What urgently needs to be done is restoring law and order and the normal life in the affected areas. The government need to show who is in charge. Is it the government or the mob?