Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has denied a link between migration and gang activity, after deputy national police chief Mats Löfving claimed gangs move to Sweden just to engage in crime.
Over the weekend, Deputy Police Chief Löfving identified at least 40 criminal clan gangs across Sweden, which he said mostly operate in so-called “vulnerable” areas, often referred to as no-go zones.
“These clans come to Sweden solely with the purpose of organising and systematising crime. They work to create power, they have a great capacity for violence, and they want to make money. And they do that with drugs, violent crimes, and extortion,” Löfving said, according to Nyheter Idag.
Swedish Report: Stockholm Violent Gang Leaders Have Migration Background https://t.co/JzoXwkpLGX
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When asked about the senior officer’s report during a press conference, Prime Minister Löfven acknowledged the country was facing problems with gang crime, but said: “We will act on what is wrong, what is criminal, regardless of background, regardless of the reason for it.”
“I don’t want to link crime to ethnicity and exactly where you come from; those are separate. But it does not detract from the fact that we have a common task to ensure that we crack down on gang crime,” he added.
Löfving also indicated that children were being trained to become criminals by gangs. That claim was confirmed by Rissa Seidou, a police officer in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, one of Sweden’s most well-known no-go areas.
“It can start with just hanging out with the criminals, then they buy you some soda, then maybe you are asked to hold onto a bag that contains drugs. Later you have to keep watch for the police or you have to hide a weapon,” Ms Seidou told broadcaster SVT.
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When describing the structure of the clan gangs, Löfving said: “Here the individual is not important, but it is even the case that marriages are arranged to strengthen the clan.
“In addition, the whole family, relatives, or the clan raises their children to take over control of the criminal organisation.”
Earlier this year, a report identified the majority of the violent gang leaders in Stockholm as being born overseas, while the rest were born in Sweden but came from migrant backgrounds.
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