After a significant rise in the number of hand grenade attacks, Swedish authorities are proposing a bill of amnesty for those willing to turn in their weapons.
The amnesty bill is designed to encourage those in possession of hand grenades to give them in to police and get them off the streets. The bill is scheduled to be introduced to the Swedish parliament in February next year and will likely see a general amnesty occur for three months between October and January 2019, SVT reports.
Grenade attacks have increased substantially in recent years. In 2014, Swedish police recorded only eight cases that involved the use of hand grenades while 2016 saw that number grow to 52. The increase has led Sweden to rival Mexico in the prevalence of hand grenade attacks.
Sweden Rivals Mexico for Grenade Attacks, Shooting Fatalities Five Times Higher Than Neighbouring Countries
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 6, 2017
“This is related to criminal gangs which generally have increased access to weapons they use against each other and against the judiciary. We must get rid of this from our streets,” Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson said.
The latest hand grenade attack earlier this week, believed to have been directed at police in Uppsala, resulted in a 20-year-old man being arrested after the device barely missed a police vehicle. A police officer, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “There is panic throughout the organisation right now. We already have had several murders and shootings here.”
Much of the hand grenade-related crime has been limited to the heavily migrant populated southern city of Malmö where a grenade was randomly found in a park earlier this year while police were searching for a firearm related to a shooting that had taken place nearby.
Along with grenade attacks, bombings, including car bombs, have also begun to become more frequent in Sweden. In October, the police station in Helsingborg saw its facade demolished by an explosion that Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven described as an attack on democracy.