Contact person:
Manne Gerell
  • Stiftelsen Ideer för Livet
Responsible at MaU:
Manne Gerell
Project members at MaU:
External project members:
  • Andreas Arnesson - Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Time frame:
15 April 2024 - 31 December 2026
Research subject:

Project description

Crime and people's experiences of safety are high on the agenda. Several reports suggests that serious violent crime has crept down into younger age groups, and all too often, both victims and perpetrators in early teens are featured in the news. This raises questions about children and youth's experiences of safety, an issue that unfortunately often receives too little attention. This is problematic because the National Council for Crime Prevention's national safety survey shows how the perceived insecurity among both young boys and girls (aged 16-19) has increased over time.

For example, the proportion of those who feel significant concern about crime in society has increased from around ten to over thirty percent in this age group over a ten-year period. Unsafety among young women is particularly problematic, with about every other young woman reporting feeling unsafe when out late at night in their own residential area. At the same time, there is a lack of a deeper understanding of why youth’s experience high levels of unsafety, which means that there are no good conditions for successful safety-promoting work.

To work with issues related to children and youth’s experiences of safety, a solid knowledge base about this group's experiences and perceptions of (in)security is required. At the same time, we know that this is a group that is generally quite difficult to reach with conventional tools and methods, such as traditional surveys. Therefore, it is important to meet this group on their own terms.

We have developed a web-based application to map unsafe places, which is suitable for this purpose. These applications focus on where and in what situations insecurity is experienced rather than on general insecurity. This research project aims to follow an initiative made by the Ideas for Life foundation in 10 Swedish municipalities to strengthen young people's safety. The research project will map young people's insecurity before the interventions are made and then follow how perceptions of safety develops as the interventions are implemented and when the project is completed. This will provide new knowledge about where, when, and in what situations Swedish youths feel unsafe, and how it may change over time and as improvement measures are implemented.

The interventions to be implemented are determined separately from the research project by the Ideas for Life foundation, but examples may include conducting safety walks, night walks, or installing new lighting in unsafe areas.