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Sweden in crisis as country becomes EU's gun crime capital with gangs running rampant

Sweden has been turned into the European Union’s gun-homicide capital after becoming the stage of dozens of deadly shootings over the past few years.

Across 2022, 62 people were killed in shootings across the Scandinavian nation, making Stockholm’s per-capita murder rate roughly 30 times that of London’s.

The number of deadly shootings slightly dipped to 53 last year, but it remained incredibly high for a country home to some 10.5 million people normally perceived as a Nordic heaven.

Speaking about the crime rate in Sweden, Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer said in February: “In 2023 although the number of deadly shootings fell slightly, preliminary figures show Sweden had nine times more deadly shootings than Norway, Denmark and Finland together.”

In September 2023, police recorded 11 deadly shootings in Sweden, making it the deadliest month for the country since 2019.

During just one night of that month, three people were killed in separate attacks – an 18-year-old man who was shot dead in a Stockholm suburb, another man was killed in a shooting in Jordbro and 24-year-old kindergarten teacher Soha Saad was murdered in an explosion in Uppsala. The real target of this blast is believed to have been the teacher’s neighbours, belonging to a criminal gang.

The number of attacks involving explosives last year was the highest on record, the official added.

Describing the dangerous criminal network established in his country, Mr Strommer also said: “We are talking about system-threatening crime with a high propensity to violence that silences witnesses, threatens social workers, infiltrates authorities and political parties, that deals in drugs, cons elderly and our welfare systems.”

Swedish police said in February that about 62,000 persons are active in, or have connections to, criminal networks in the country.

Gangsters either carry out their personal vendettas themselves or groom and hire people as young as 15 to do the job for them.

The Nordic country saw more than 102,400 immigrants crossing its borders in 2022 and more than 94,000 in 2023, according to Statistics Sweden.

When it comes to people illegally residing in the country, the government said in April 2023 it believed there were around 100,000.

Manne Gerell, an associate professor of criminology at Malmo University, acknowledged Sweden has a “very big problem with violence” that, while it is largely limited to gangs, catches innocents in the crossfire.

While he said there is “no denying” a connection between the violence in Sweden and migration, he noted that many of the migrants involved in gang violence are second or third-generation immigrants, born and bred in Sweden.

He told the MailOnline: “I think you can make a distinction. It might be because of migration, and [it might be] because of failed integration, because most of the people involved in this violence were born in Sweden, so they were not migrants – their parents were.”

However, he added: “You can’t really deny the fact that most of both the victims and the perpetrators of this gang violence have a foreign background, so there is a connection to immigration and/or integration, which I think cannot be denied.”


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