A 12-year-old Swedish girl was shot dead over the weekend while walking her dog as one criminologist has warned Sweden is becoming like the “Wild West”.
The shooting took place in the municipality of Botkyrka on Sunday night outside of a local McDonald’s restaurant while the 12-year-old victim was walking her dog.
The young girl is thought not to have been the intended target of the shooting, which is believed to be connected to gang violence, but police have been reluctant to share details of the investigation, broadcaster SVT reports.
“Generally speaking, these types of shootings have links to criminal networks, but we do not go into what it is like in this particular case,” Palle Nilsson, acting deputy regional police chief in Stockholm, said.
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Nilsson went on to state that around 30 people in the Stockholm region are behind many of the serious crimes linked to criminal networks in the recent past, saying: “These people are behind a large part of extortion, robbery, drug sales, shootings, explosions, and murders in the region.”
Criminologist Mikael Rying, meanwhile, said that int he last five years at least five innocent bystanders have been killed as a result of gang violence.
“In the early 1990s, there were a lot of drug deals where someone was shot in a garage or an apartment. Then came the biker gangs in the second half of the ’90s with rules for both entry and exit. There was order within these groupings. Since the second half of the ’00s, it began to become more Wild West,” he said.
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Rying added that in Sweden today, gangs follow fewer rules than in the past, and the more disorganised street gangs become the more likely it is that innocent people will be caught up in their violence.
Shootings across Sweden, which are primarily gang-related, have become a major issue, and according to a report from the Swedish National Forensic Centre released last year the country saw a 100 per cent increase in deaths from shootings between 2012 and 2019.
Shooting incidents have increased this year as well, despite the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus and Swedish police efforts to combat crime in Operation Rimfrost.
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Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com