According to information from the Swedish police, during Operation Rimfrost, 80 children between the ages of eight and fourteen were discovered to have committed robbery. The police initiative was launched to crackdown on gang-related crime.
Since 2019, when Operation Rimfrost was launched as a result of a national incident where a 15-year-old immigrant boy was murdered in Malmö at Möllevångstorget, the police in Malmö have tried to gain access to organised crime and gangs. But as a side aspect, it has also been possible to identify 80 children between the ages of 8 and 14 who had engaged in robberies in the Skåne region alone.
“It is younger people who, usually in groups, take a jacket, bicycle, moped or a mobile phone,” Stefan Sintéus, chief of police in Malmö, told P4 Malmöhus. “It is depressing that such young people are out there up to no good,” he added.
For many of the youngsters who eventually get caught up in the criminal world, it is from an early age that they start committing crimes. It is often glorified ghetto culture and the hatred of ethnic Swedes that drives them, as several studies have shown. In the eyes of many of the youthful criminals, it is also a fight against Swedes.
“When we are out on the town and stealing, we fight, we fight against the Swedes!” said immigrant boys interviewed by researcher Petra Åkesson in 2005. The phenomenon is not unknown, but is often ignored in the mainstream media and even played down by the police.
According to Erik Nord, area manager for the police in Gothenburg, it is, for example, “boredom” that causes immigrant gangs to humiliate young Swedes and rob them. “The perpetrators see it as an occupation, that they are bored and take the opportunity to rob and humiliate,” Erik Nord told TT.
But what starts as theft and robbery often escalates rapidly as more contacts are made with older criminals and once the road is paved, there remain but a few opportunities to break the trend.
“These are the initial crimes for eventually being allowed to sell drugs on behalf of someone else, or simply keep a weapon, become a transporter or an errand boy,” Sintéus told P4 Malmöhus.
Operation Rimfrost has sadly been a failure – the number of shootings and deaths during the first four months of the year have remained unchanged. At the start of the year, Stefan Hector, the national commander of the operation admitted at a media briefing in Malmö that gang crime was a problem “you can’t really solve because it’s composed of so many complex elements that the police do not influence”.
Between January and April this year, there were 99 criminal shootings and 15 people were murdered, compared to 81 shootings and 15 murders in the same period last year. The figures for 2018 and 2017 are similar, reported Swedish news agency TT.