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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime
Irene Svenonius, the head of Region Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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BREAKING

‘No threat’ after police action at Malmö’s Emporia shopping mall

Police confirmed at around 3pm on Friday that there was "no threat" at Malmö's Emporia shopping mall following a search of the building and the evacuation of all shoppers and retail staff, Sweden's state broadcaster SVT has reported.

'No threat' after police action at Malmö's Emporia shopping mall

“We got a message that everyone had to evacuate immediately, so everyone started to run, including me,” a witness told SVT. 

Filip Annas, a spokesperson for the Malmö police, said that the operation had been launched after a member of the public reported seeing a person with a “weapon-like object” at the entrance of the mall. 

“We have found a person who matches the description but have not found a weapon,” he said. “We are continuing to search thoughout Emporia and will hopefully complete the operation shortly.” 

By 3pm, police stated that they had searched the entire shopping mall, had not found anything suspicious and no longer deemed there to be a threat.

On August 20th a 31-year-old man was shot dead in broad daylight in the shopping centre, while a woman who happened to be standing near to him suffered a bullet wound. 

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