U-FOLD seminar on drugs and violence filled the Gunne auditorium


“When criminals and gangster rappers lure with status and fast money, we have to tell the truth: These are older criminals who need child soldiers to do the dirty jobs they don't dare to do themselves”, stated police chief Jale Poljarevius in front of a packed Gunne auditorium when U-FOLD highlighted the crime wave that is currently tormenting our country.

Fred Nyberg, Jennie Claesson, Jale Poljarevius and Mathias Hallberg in Gunnesalen
Fred Nyberg, Jennie Claesson, Jale Poljarevius and Mathias Hallberg in Gunnesalen

“Today, Sweden is in what resembles a low-intensity state of war and an ongoing downward spiral. The money in the illegal economy are increasing and those who previously shot to fright are now shooting to kill. In addition, we see how criminal gangs are recruiting at ever lower ages, sometimes children as young as seven years old. Therefore, it is not enough to prosecute, we must act before these criminals have time to deliver their false promises of fast money and expensive cars,” said Jale Poljarevius, police chief and head of intelligence, at U-FOLD's seminar Mental illness, violence and drugs • A dangerous spiral.

Statistics confirm how an increasing number of children in Sweden under the age of 15 are suspected of crimes. In the category of violent crime, the number has doubled in a short time and many of them are committed under the influence of drugs with weapons acquired by older individuals in charge of illegal sales of narcotics. This presents our society with a series of urgent challenges, and when U-FOLD announced the seminar, it was fully booked within 24 hours.

“It is obvious that our forum fulfills a need for a joint platform, and that we are able to gather this mix of researchers, professionals and politicians is absolutely necessary to enable the interprofessional talks required to achieve a change,” says Mathias Hallberg, chair of U-FOLD and Dean at Uppsala University's Faculty of Pharmacy.

The seminar also highlighted violence in close relationships. Anita Hussénius, Director of the National Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women, stated that the Sweden’s national women’s helpline answered more than 44,000 calls last year, constituting yet another unwelcome record. Sara Lindholm Larsson, Director at Ersta sjukhus, pointed put the great responsibility of healthcare to identify men's violence against women already at an early stage, and Jale Poljarevius informed about the Police's Initiative Dawn (Initiativ Gryning) in order to advance their position regarding abused women.

“We must acknowledge the major challenges within our organizations in order to act on them, but it is also important that we talk about the positive things that are actually happening. In Uppsala, social services are currently strengthening their presence in schools in several geographical areas. In addition, there is complete political agreement to invest the resources required to give our schools sufficient room for action, and arenas for knowledge exchange such as U-FOLD are necessary if we are to enable a belief in the future,” stated Municipal commissioner Jennie Claesson in the closing panel debate.

Omstart • Nu väljer vi våra barns framtid

Tuesday 2 May U-FOLD invites to Uppsala University Main Auditorium as the forum returns with Storseminarium 2023: Omstart • Nu väljer vi våra barns framtid. In focus of this meeting is a selection of the many and successful initiatives that are currently ongoing all over Sweden with the aim to provide our children and young people positive alternatives to the destructive forces that surround them. Registration for the seminar is open on U-FOLD's website.


  • Is Uppsala University's Forum for research on pharmaceutical and drug addiction.
  • Was inaugurated in Uppsala in 2011 as a regional gathering of forces against the challenges of addiction.
  • Gathers 20 regional organisations that work together for a better society.



Mathias Hallberg, chair, U-FOLD
Professor, Uppsala University
E-post  Mathias.Hallberg@farmbio.uu.se

Fred Nyberg, Senior advisor, U-FOLD
Senior Professor, Uppsala University
E-post  Fred.Nyberg@farmbio.uu.se

Text & foto: Magnus Alsne

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Last modified: 2022-11-08