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Welcome to the Stockholm Criminology Symposium

Mattias Larsson, Director General, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention

Mattias Larsson, Director General, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the 18th Stockholm Criminology Symposium, an annual international meeting place for criminologists, policy-makers and others with an interest in knowledge-based criminal policies.

The main theme this year is Trust and legitimacy in the work to combat crime, which is in line with the work of the two winners of The Stockholm Prize in Criminology 2024, Professors Gary LaFree and Tom R. Tyler. Under this umbrella, we will learn from the latest research on how negative handling and experiences can lead to a lack of trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system among suspects, crime victims, witnesses, and the general public, and how this can lead to a higher risk for crime. Fortunately, we will also learn how the police and other authorities can act to obtain higher trust and in this way contribute to lower risks for crime. We will also be enlightened on the importance of trust in societies at large, not only among individuals, but also between people and social institutions, and how this is connected to tendencies towards either a peaceful society or social disorder and crime.

This year’s second and complementary theme is When children commit crime. Here we will pay special attention to new knowledge on children who are, at a young age, on track towards a life of crime. We will examine how some of them are drawn into criminal activities by people in their neighbourhood, as well as how some come to be exploited by criminal networks. We certainly need insights into what we can do to prevent and stop the ongoing exploitation of children in the context of criminal activities and save them from a life of crime.

Finally, we also have the ever present and broader theme Contemporary criminology, where a large number of presentations will provide us with an overview of the current state of knowledge in many areas of criminology, crime policy, related fields of research, and relevant experiences on decision making and practice.

This year’s program features about 250 speakers who will present their research and share their experiences in about 70 parallel sessions. This is possible because of all the generous speakers from different parts of the world, who have volunteered and comprise the rich program of the symposium; for this we are extremely grateful. We are, of course, also very pleased to see that the symposium is back so strongly after the pandemic.

In addition to the above, we have also arranged three major sessions that everyone can attend at the same time. The first one is the opening discussion called Researchers’ Advice to Policy, where the Swedish Minister for Justice Mr. Gunnar Strömmer will put forward questions to be answered by the prize-winning Professors Gary LaFree and Tom R. Tyler. The prize winners’ lecture, where the laureates themselves will present their research, will be held on the second day of the symposium. This will be followed by the long-awaited grand prize ceremony, where the prize will be presented by Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden. The third and final day of the symposium will include the Jerry Lee lecture, which this year will be delivered by Professor Alex R. Piquero.

I warmly welcome all of you to the event and hope you will have three rewarding and inspiring days that will remain in your memory for a long time to come.

Mattias Larsson
Director General, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention

A message from the Swedish Minister for Justice

Swedish Minister for Justice Gunnar Strömmer

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

As Sweden’s Minister for Justice, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to Stockholm and this year’s Criminology Symposium. For almost 20 years, this annual event has brought together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to share their knowledge and ideas in the broad field of criminology.

The main theme of this year’s symposium – Trust and legitimacy in the work to combat crime – is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy and a prerequisite for the rule of law. Research suggests that trust and legitimacy are also linked to the ever-present issue of crime reduction.

The research of the 2024 Stockholm Criminology laureates, professors Gary LaFree and Tom R. Tyler, indicates that if the police apply principles of treating citizens correctly, respectfully and without prejudice, even those citizens who break the law, this can lead to a reduction in the propensity for crime on an individual level and also to a reduction in crime on a societal level. Using different methodological approaches, professors LaFree and Tyler have greatly increased our knowledge in this field.

This year’s symposium programme includes a wide range of seminars and knowledgeable speakers from a variety of countries and disciplines, addressing the main theme and the second theme, When children commit crime, as well as the recurring theme Contemporary criminology.

I am certain that your days in Stockholm will be rewarding and inspiring and I wish you a very warm welcome to the 2024 Stockholm Criminology Symposium!

Gunnar Strömmer
Minister for Justice