Crime prevention

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) are initiating and supporting crime prevention efforts on both local, regional and national levels.

Want to know more?


Municipal responsibility for crime prevention work

In Sweden, crime prevention is conducted at national, regional and local level. Since July 2023, all municipalities in Sweden have a legal responsibility for local crime prevention. In short, the new law means that each municipality must pursue knowledge-based crime prevention as well as ensure the necessary organisational structures for such work.

Under the law, each municipality is required to analyse the current crime situation in its geographic area in order to describe the extent, consequences and causes of the concerned crime. Based on this analysis, the municipality shall decide on measures and adopt an action plan that is regularly followed up.

The municipality shall also assume some responsibility for the coordination of local crime prevention by, for example, ensuring that such matters are managed in a special forum and establishing a coordination function involving the relevant stakeholders, such as the police and the local business community.

Brå's support to the municipalities

Brå offers several support activities to aid the municipalities in their crime prevention.

  • Practical, needs-based support for crime prevention officers centred on the new legislation and local crime prevention
  • Web-based crime prevention courses
  • Government grants to municipalities for crime prevention measures
  • Government grants for evaluating and following up crime prevention measures

Following up the new law

The law is normative, which means that non-compliance does not result in any sanctions. The law aims to make crime prevention work more targeted and effective. Complying with the law enables municipalities to prevent more crimes.

Brå has been tasked with following up how the municipalities are implementing this new legislation. The aim of the follow-up is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the municipalities' efforts in order to adapt national and regional support to local needs.

Group Violence Intervention (GVI)

The Group Violence Intervention (GVI) is a strategy for reducing violence in criminal milieux, in a specific city or neighbourhood, and is based on cooperation between the police, the municipality, the prison and probation service, and the local community.

The strategy is based on focused deterrence, and has a group focus. A central starting point for the strategy is that the majority of all serious violence in a society can be linked to a few individuals. In order to reduce violence, society should focus its resources on these individuals and the groups they belong to. The specific focus on the entirety of a group(s) influences norms, and particularly group dynamics, in such a way that conflicts can be resolved by methods other than using serious violence. The strategy relies on three central elements, all of which are equally important and all of which reinforce each other. The three elements are:

  • Communication: A common message from society’s various actors that violence must end. This is done through direct communication with the group’s members.
  • An offer to help: Group members who want to leave their criminal life will be helped to do so.
  • Sanctions: Swift and predictable consequences of violence for entire groups. Since it is groups that drive violence, this will have a greater effect than interventions with an individual focus.

In Sweden, work relating to GVI is run by Brå in partnership with the Swedish Police Authority and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.

Read more about GVI in Sweden.

Crime prevention among children and youth

Social intervention groups (SIG) and school, social services, police and free time activity (SSPF) initiatives are two forms of collaboration that aim to prevent children and youth from committing crimes by ensuring collaboration between the municipality, the police and other local stakeholders. The difference between these forms of collaboration is that they were developed for different target groups, with SIG aimed at youth at higher risk. However, in practice, the target groups for these initiatives vary between municipalities. Below we present the original idea behind each model.

Social intervention groups

Social intervention groups (SIG) were developed to help youth at high risk of committing crimes to shun the criminal lifestyle. The main partners involved here are social services, the police and the schools.


SSPF was developed to identify youth at risk of entering or in the initial stages of a life of crime. This form of collaboration involves schools, social services, the police and free time activities.

European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA)

Each year, a competition is held to recognise the best local crime prevention project in the EU – the European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA). The competition is organised by the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN), a network of crime prevention organisations in the EU. The purpose of the competition is to reward the best European crime prevention projects. Authorities, businesses and other organisations that have conducted crime prevention projects or initiatives related to the annual theme are free to enter.

Brå selects Sweden's competition entry. This is done by means of a national competition and award ceremony. The winning entry then represents Sweden in the European competition, which is held in conjunction with the Best Practice Conference (BPC).