Head of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) Anders Thornberg has told Swedes to get used to the current level of shootings, saying it could remain high for many years to come.
Thornberg said that he did not see an end to the current wave of shootings across the country anytime soon, saying “this can continue for five to ten years” in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
So far this year, the city of Stockholm has seen 11 fatalities as a result of shootings, nearly double the number during the same period in 2018.
Thornberg added that he saw the trend in gun violence, which has its roots in criminal gang activity, as being a problem for the whole of society rather than simply an issue for the police alone. Like drug trafficking, Thornberg said that the issue will be impossible to solve overnight.
According to Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio, drug trafficking could be linked to the rise in shootings in the Swedish capital.
Sweden Police: Gangs See Fatal Shootings as Status Symbol https://t.co/DOV4VjhXm5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 13, 2019
Police in Stockholm say that cocaine circulation has risen to record highs, with Lennart Andersson, City Police Commissioner, stating: “It has actually increased steadily over a ten-year period. I would say that the market is almost saturated today — there is more cocaine than what is demanded.”
Sven Granath, a criminologist with the police, added that a handful of recent shootings can be directly linked to cocaine trafficking and the number of overdose deaths has also risen.
Over the past weekend, Stockholm saw three separate shootings and two fatalities as a result, leading Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson to comment that the current situation was “extreme for a country that is not at war”.
The wave of gun violence comes after the country saw a record number of shooting fatalities in 2018. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has also spoken out on the issue, promising to increase penalties for possession of illegal weapons and explosives.
Record breaking number of shootings in Sweden this year https://t.co/6Lb08omMY5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 29, 2018