Violations of drug laws where the suspect is between 15 and 17 years old have increased in recent years.

In 2009, the number was a total of 3312. The corresponding figure for 2019 was 5103, according to statistics from the Swedish Crime Prevention Council, Brå.  

Statistics from the police, which include suspects under the age of 15, also show an increase since 2016. 

“Spreads quickly and easily” 

- Drugs are very easily accessible today and a lot is about social media, says Tove Werner Pettersson. 

For ten years she has worked to and from in the youth group in the local police area Täby, which includes five municipalities.

For almost three years, she has worked in collaboration with social services, schools and field workers. 

- We are investigating more and more cases.

It may be because we work well, but I think it is mainly because we have more and younger young people who commit crimes. 

According to her, a large part of the drug sales have been transferred to apps such as Snapchat, where pictures and messages disappear when the recipient has opened them. 

- On Snapchat, it spreads quickly and easily.

There are many young people who come and show adults in their vicinity that a new snap is out.

Often it is a picture of drugs and then it says what is available and where it is available.

This starts already in middle school. 

- I have given lectures at parent meetings and checked if they asked their children if they know how to get hold of drugs.

Everyone says it's easier than ever, that everyone knows. 

Often difficult to diagnose 

Tove Werner Pettersson believes that it is partly about young people already using Snapchat to communicate, and that you no longer need to know someone who has contacts.  

- It is much easier and more anonymous when you can be behind the screen. 

The disappearance of messages is also something that complicates the job of the police.

- Before, people sent text messages and then we could empty the phone and have conversations.

You can not do that with Snapchat.

And even if you have a picture, it is difficult to prove who sent it if someone refuses, it was easier when you could get the whole story.

So it's a challenge.

Snapchat: Zero tolerance for crime

SVT has been in contact with Snapchat, which says that they have put a lot of effort into their app design to combat illegal activities and that they have a zero tolerance for drug sales.

They also state that they are investigating the possibilities of developing their work against drugs.