At least 3,000 Swedish police officers have signed a letter addressed to Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg calling on the government to introduce stiffer penalties for lawlessness and deal with no-go zone gangs.
Gothenburg police officer Hannah Bergelin began the petition following the death of her colleague Andreas Danman, who was shot dead by gangs in the “vulnerable” area of Biskopsgården, Gothenberg, in late June in an attack that was described as being like an “execution”.
Bergelin said that she feared police officers were putting their lives at risk due to the ongoing violence involving criminal gangs, telling newspaper Göteborgs-Posten that she hoped the petition would “give politicians a picture of how Swedish police are doing in reality, i.e. at the grassroots level”.
Police Officer Fatally Shot in Alleged ‘Execution’ in ‘Vulnerable’ Area of Swedish City https://t.co/tTiunv72ek
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 2, 2021
At least 3,098 officers have signed the letter, which articulates 20 points for change — including fast-tracking courts, criminalising anti-social behaviour towards emergency services workers, and abolishing criminal penalty discounts — was presented to Interior Minister Damberg on Monday by Bergelin and three other officers.
“They described the reality of the police. A tough reality where crime has also become more serious in recent years, and their desire to do more. And I agree, we need to do more,” Minister Damberg said.
“We had a discussion about tougher penalties and how to tackle the problems in these vulnerable areas. It was very constructive,” Damberg told broadcaster SVT.
Five and Six-Year-Old Children Injured During Swedish Gang Shooting https://t.co/KEJXuWSZrs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 20, 2021
Bergelin stated that she was also looking to meet with other representatives of some of the parties in the Swedish parliament this week and said she was hopeful for change.
“Now I have over 3,000 grassroots police names who want change, which is something completely unprecedented,” she said.
Gang violence in Sweden, particularly violence linked to firearms, has become an increasingly serious problem in some areas, as fatal shootings have remained high over the last several years.
A May report noted that Sweden had become the worst country in Europe for deadly gun violence, according to the Crime Prevention Council, Brå.
Arrests for Gun Crimes Soar in Sweden Since 2017 https://t.co/Ct1oeaOHzv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 22, 2021
“The increase reported by Sweden cannot be seen anywhere else in Europe. Sweden has moved from the bottom to the top in Europe’s statistics,” Brå investigator Klara Hradilova-Selin said.
The number of arrests connected to illegal firearms has also significantly increased in the last several years, from just 64 in 2017 to 340 in 2020. Last year also saw at least 1,300 guns seized.
In June, Police Commissioner Erik Nord linked the surge in fatal gun violence to mass migration, saying: “It is no longer a secret today that much of the problem of gang and network crime with the shootings and explosions have been linked to migration to Sweden in recent decades.”
“When, like me, you have the opportunity to follow matters at the individual level, you see that virtually everyone who shoots or is shot in gang conflicts originates from the Balkans, the Middle East, North or East Africa,” Nord added.
Swedish No-Go Zone Local Says Area Like 'Wild West' as Shootings Continue https://t.co/9CE3tDKJ33
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 11, 2021