Was there curfew in Tensta, Stockholm (or some other suburb) proclaimed by criminal gangs?
Yes, according to the police. No, according to SVT (but more about that later).
Summarizing from the article (sv) by SVT:
A source told SVT:
…kriminella personer i området ha uppmanat ett antal yngre personer att inte röra sig ute sent på kvällen.
Criminal people in the area urged a number of young people not to stay outside late at night
However, SVT went out to ask people on the street two months later:
…ingen av personerna som SVT Nyheter [mötte] som kände igen sig i bilden av att ett utegångsförbud införts.
"None of those asked by SVT felt that it was right to call it a curfew" 1
But the police in the area has a different opinion:
Mina kollegor uppmärksammade att det var ovanligt lite folk i rörelse ute i lokala Tensta. [Vi fick] uppgifter som gjorde gällande att kriminella individer basunerat ut att man inte skulle vara ute efter klockan 18.00. […] Vi gjorde allt i vår makt för att medborgare skulle känna sig trygga med förstärkning till området och på så vis häva det här så kallade utegångsförbudet.
"My colleagues noticed an unusually small number of people outside. We received information that criminal individuals had spread the word that you should not be outside after 18:00. We did all in our power to make the citizens feel safe, with extra personnel to break this so-called curfew."
From this report I can conclude that the primary "eyewitness" here is the police, who first observed a reduced number of people outside and also talked to others at that time to figure out what was going on.
Was it enforced?
This is easier. None of the sources mentions anything about someone getting in trouble for staying out. Since it is never mentioned it is impossible to say if…
- People were afraid to go out so no enforcing was necessary
- The gang did enforce it
- The police prevented the curfew from being enforced
Note about the source and background about SVT
There are in my opinion a few problems with the article by SVT.
First, the curfew was supposed to have taken place in the 25th of August, but the article interviews people almost two months after. The original reports never claimed that the curfew was supposed to have been in place for more than one evening, but from the people interviewed it seems as if they are being asked if there is a curfew going on now.
Second, any discussions about gang violence in Sweden invariably become a question of gangs with immigrant backgrounds. Any gang-related news is bound to turn into an immigration debate, with the agendas from each side shining through. This turns something that should perhaps only be a matter for the local police into a highly politicized matter.
This politicization may matter in the case of the article by SVT, because much like BBC and CNN, SVT is often accused of having a left-wing bias, especially when it comes to articles about immigration - a sensitive subject in Sweden. Another article from a source with a polar opposite bias (blatant right-wing populist) claims that bias may have affected the SVT article because they found that the first "person on the street" is a radical communist who insinuates that the police are lying about the curfew to badmouth the area, and the second person may actually be a member of the gang involved, based on his criminal history and social media posts.
1. Not a literal translation but I think it captures the spirit better than a literal translation would)