The myth of success: the emergence and maintenance of a specialized gang unit in Stockholm, Sweden
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, ISSN 0192-4036, E-ISSN 2157-6475, Vol. 39, no 3, 199-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Street gangs and organized crime groups pose a unique challenge to police departments across the globe. Given their penchant for public displays of affiliation through well-recognized signs and symbols, their presence is often associated with media attention and public scrutiny, which threatens the legitimacy of the police and creates added pressure to generate a specific and public response to the threat these groups pose. The current study documents how the Stockholm County, Sweden, police developed and maintained an anti-gang operation in response to an emerging gang problem. While police officials labeled the anti-gang initiative a success in the news media, analyses of prosecution statistics and internal police documents demonstrate a less than ideal effect of this operation. Potential reasons for the discrepancy in public pronouncements of programmatic success relative to evaluation of official data are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 39, no 3, 199-217 p.
gangs, policing, evaluation, media, police legitimacy, police cynicism
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113768DOI: 10.1080/01924036.2014.973054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113768DiVA: diva2:787599