Swedish criminologist Manne Gerell claims that changing norms and standards within the criminal milieu have led to the rise in violence currently rocking the country.
Deadly gang violence has seen a surge since 2012 and according to the Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå) is now twice as common as in the 1990s, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
According to Manne Gerell, a criminologist at Malmö University, the rise in deadly attacks within the criminal community could be traced to changing norms as gang members constantly try to one-up each other.
“In order to make money and to establish oneself in that environment, you need to practice some violence or at least experience it. When some people start using automatic weapons, explosives, or hand grenades, the others must follow,” he said.
Gerell said that the wave of violence has no simple answer but noted that his theory may partially explain the increase.
Earlier this year, Brå reported that fatal shootings have become a status symbol among criminals, with investigator Erik Nilsson stating: “Today, there is a need for greater violence to build their reputation. More violence is needed to achieve a certain effect.”
Sweden Police: Gangs See Fatal Shootings as Status Symbol https://t.co/DOV4VjhXm5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 13, 2019
He also claimed that some police efforts have been successful in solving gang crimes, saying that rapid response from officers has been key.
“Research has been able to show that a success factor that seems to be associated with [solving crimes] is rapid efforts such as house searches of victims or door knocks, and if you are quick and are on the offensive in the initial stages of the investigation,” he said.
Sweden has seen a surge of violence among criminal gangs this year, particularly when it comes to the use of explosives. Authorities note that 2019 saw a 45 per cent rise in explosions from January to July compared to the same period in the previous year.
In 2018, Sweden also saw a record number of fatal shootings, with Stockholm police’s gangs conflict specialist Gunnar Appelgren likening the situation to a country in a “state of war”.