Despite the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak which could have suppressed some forms of criminality, Sweden is set to see a record year for fatal shootings as the number of people killed by firearms has already surpassed that of 2019.
A fatal shooting in the multicultural southern city of Malmö over the weekend increased the number to 43 in 2020, surpassing the total number of gun deaths in 2019 with an entire month left in the year.
Linda H. Staaf, head of the police’s national intelligence unit, stated that the level of fatal shootings is related to social work that was not done decades ago. Police say that many of the shootings are linked to gang crime and vulnerable areas, commonly referred to as no-go areas, Sveriges Radio reports.
Shootings in Sweden Increasing Despite Coronavirus and Police Operations https://t.co/cwS52GZFfU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 29, 2020
“It’s a lot to do with integration. It is about society as a whole withdrawing from these areas. Shops, government agencies, various community actors backed out and left residents stranded,” Staaf said.
Sweden’s record for fatal shootings took place in 2018 when 45 people were killed as a result of gun violence. With a month left in 2020, broadcaster Sveriges Radio predicts it “likely” that record could be broken.
The broadcaster noted that Stockholm County accounted for around half of the fatal shootings so far this year, which could be explained by heightened police pressure on criminal gangs that has led to violence between several criminal groups.
Malmö Shooting Suspects Overwhelmingly from Migrant Backgrounds https://t.co/pN0x73IFAY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 24, 2019
According to Ms Staaf, however, there have been “positive trends” in these neighbourhoods, adding that “an important part is the police should be able to operate in the areas and pave the way for other social actors to establish themselves there”.
Earlier this year it was noted that despite the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the anti-gang police operation Rimfrost, shootings were on the rise.
In July of last year, Head of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) Anders Thornberg simply told Swedes to get used to the current high level of shootings and indicated it could take five to ten years to tackle the issue.
Swedish Police Head: Get Used to Current Level of Shootings https://t.co/AKnOmd52jR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 5, 2019