New research program aims to prevent gang crime

The research program "Crime and Social Harms" at the University of Gävle aims to contribute new knowledge about gang crime and crime prevention. "We are working on interdisciplinary research in the field and have close dialogue with the field - police, social services, and schools - to develop relevant research," says Sara Skoog Waller, PhD in psychology and researcher in gender-related violence.

Amir Rostami, Sara Skoog Waller, and Börje Leidhammar lead the new research program "Crime and Social Harms" at the University of Gävle. PHOTO: HiG

The gang crime affects many different parts of society and has escalated in recent years. Evaluated methods and new research are required to both prevent crime and manage its consequences.

Within "Crime and Social Harms," researchers from criminology, psychology, and law are represented, but other subject expertise will also be included in the research program. Sara Skoog Waller, Börje Leidhammar, adjunct professor of law and attorney, and Amir Rostami, professor of criminology, lead the research program.

"We see the new program as an umbrella under which many different projects will be gathered. We will conduct research in several areas because crime and violence affect society and individuals in many different ways," says Sara Skoog Waller.

An example of questions to be studied is girls' involvement in criminal gangs.

"It is often highlighted that girls in crime are not as visible to the police, which the gangs exploit in their operations. And there is much evidence that girls are exploited and systematically exposed in these contexts. It can involve sexual violence and control – vulnerability that also goes under the radar," says Sara Skoog Waller.

Within Crime and Social Harms, research on economic crime, welfare crime, organized crime, and the connections between them are included.

An important part of the research program is to create spaces for collaboration and dialogue across subject and professional boundaries. During the spring, researchers participate in open dialogue meetings with representatives from the police, social services, and schools and organize two webinars on crime and violence in close relationships. The hope is that the events will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges society faces.

"Violence and crime occur in different arenas that are interconnected and dynamic with each other. We need conditions to see the bigger picture. Therefore, it is valuable to gather several areas of knowledge and professions from the practical field, where developments can move quickly. It is about communicating research but equally much about developing research from the outset that has the potential to meet these societal challenges," says Sara Skoog Waller.


Sara Skoog Waller, profilbild

Sara Skoog Waller

Lektor i psykologi och programansvarig

Börje Leidhammar, profilbild

Börje Leidhammar

Adjungerad professor i juridik och programansvarig

This page was last updated 2024-03-04