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Safety in Stockholm’s Underground Stations: An Agenda for Action

Abstract

The objective of this article is to propose an agenda for interventions to prevent or reduce crime and disorder at underground stations in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The article first reports the nature, the levels, and the patterns of crime and disorder across time and space. Different types of crime are analyzed and specific conclusions are drawn for each type of crime which relate to the suggested interventions presented in this article. Findings lend weight to principles of situational crime prevention to improve security in transport nodes, with overlaps with routine activity and social disorganization theories. Intervention measures comprehend suggestions on both environmental design related changes and more complex social aspects regarding the reduction of crime at transport nodes. Suggestions for interventions at Stockholm’s underground stations, as presented here, constitute an illustration of what can be achieved with situational crime prevention principles; however, they may not be regarded as a “one-size-fits-all” solution to the demands and challenges of safety in transport nodes elsewhere.

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Notes

  1. A significance level of 10 % is a common practice in criminology and used here to eliminate the variables that did not contribute to the model.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Swedish Transport Administration (Traffikverket), Stockholm Public Transport (SL), and Stockholm Municipality for financing this research project. Thanks also to Ulla Wittrock (Stockholm County Police Department), Stefan Liljevall (Stockholm Statistics), Mats Pergel (SL), and Peter Assor (Veolia) for providing data for the analysis.

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Correspondence to Vania Ceccato.

Appendices

Appendix 1

The Stockholm Underground System

Stockholm is part of an archipelago. The islands are well connected by roads and an efficient public transportation system, comprising buses, the Stockholm underground system, rail systems, and commuter trains. The Stockholm underground system is composed of three lines: Green, Blue, and Red. The Green Line has 49 stations (39 of these are aboveground); it is used by 451,000 passengers per workday, and it is the biggest line in terms of the numbers of passengers and stations. The Red Line, which includes 36 stations (15 of these are aboveground), transports 394,000 passengers per workday. The Blue Line consists of 20 stations (only 1 station aboveground) and transports 171,000 passengers per workday. The trains are operated from 0500 h to 0100 h. All lines have trains running every 10 min during daytime hours. It is limited to every 15 min during the early morning and the late evening, and every 30 min during the night. During peak hours, additional trains operate every 5 to 6 min in suburb stations, with 2 to 3 min between trains in the central parts of the network (Stockholm Public Transport Annual Report 2006). The underground system is owned by the Stockholm County Council through Stockholm Public Transport (SL), which has contracted operators.

figure a

Appendix 2

Table 4 Characteristics of the databases of crime and perceived safety

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Uittenbogaard, A., Ceccato, V. Safety in Stockholm’s Underground Stations: An Agenda for Action. Eur J Crim Policy Res 20, 73–100 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-013-9212-8

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Keywords

  • Crime prevention
  • Offences
  • Safety
  • Subway
  • Transport nodes