Shootings in Sweden Increasing Despite Coronavirus and Police Operations


While some crime has gone down significantly since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Sweden, gang shootings have actually increased since last year.

Between January 1st and April 15th of 2020, Sweden has seen 86 shootings in total, an increase from the same period in 2019. While the number of deaths as a result of shootings has decreased to 15, the number of injured has risen to 32.

The rise in the number of shootings comes despite the implementation of Operation Rimfrost, a police operation designed to target gang crime and to confiscate weapons and explosives used in Sweden’s many bombing attacks over the last year.

Police have managed to seize 545 weapons and around 100 kilos of explosives since the start of Operation Rimfrost, and 200 individuals have been arrested, broadcaster SVT reports.

Stefan Hector, National Commanding Officer for Operation Rimfrost, claimed it has been successful. He said: “I can say with certainty that we have prevented serious violent crimes, so I say that we have reduced the deadly violence.”

At least 100 officers were involved in an anti-gang operation in the Araby/Dalbo district of Växjö, making several arrests and claiming a large number of drugs were also seized.

On this past New Year’s Eve, a mob of youths armed with Molotov cocktails attacked police officers in Växjö.

The Swedish organised crime scene has also been mostly unaffected by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, unlike other countries like France where gangs are struggling with a lack of supply of illegal drugs.

Mr Hector noted that drug supplies have been limited by the virus, but noted: “We have seen a tendency that in cases where the supply of drugs has diminished, they have started to use extortion as a method of getting money into the criminal environment. And blackmail is usually carried out through violence.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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