High crime rates found among high school graduates in West Sweden
Last Updated: 2017-09-07 09:41 | Xinhua
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An investigative news program on Swedish Television has found that there are high crime rates among male high school graduates in a socially excluded area of Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city that lies west of Stockholm.

The investigation charted conviction rates among 645 males who graduated from five upper-secondary schools in Gothenburg's Hisingen suburb between 2011 and 2015. In other words, pupils who have completed their compulsory education, which runs up until year nine in Sweden.

Most of the crimes involve narcotics, physical assault and unlawful driving. However, some of the former pupils have also been convicted for more serious crimes like rape, severe weapons crimes and murder.

In the case of one school, Sjumilaskolan, 26 percent of former male pupils appear in Sweden's criminal records register. For the other four schools, the figure is 24, 16, 13 and five percent.

Reacting to the reporters' findings, Sweden's minister for policy coordination, Ibrahim Baylan, was quoted by Swedish Television as saying: "These guys are wasting their lives and ruining things for themselves and for others by behaving in this manner."

All five schools are located in the same municipality. Four of them are in Biskopsgarden, a suburb classified as a "particularly vulnerable area", while the fifth is in Torslanda, one of Gothenburg's most affluent areas.

Sjumilaskolan has a troublesome history. When representatives of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate visited the school in 2015, they found that teachers feared their pupils and did not dare to break up fights even when they thought the pupils might end up killing each other. Pupils also said they could not focus during lessons because of a chaotic atmosphere in the classrooms, Swedish Television reported.

While the Schools Inspectorate approved the municipality's plans for addressing the problems, the inspectorate's latest statement from June 2017 still outlines problems with bullying and harassment.

The Municipality of Gothenburg now has until Oct. 31 to guarantee pupils' safety, according to Swedish Television, which has also reached out to the school principal for a comment.

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