A new study has claimed young men in Sweden are twice as likely as their European counterparts to be victims of a deadly shooting as gang violence across the country has continued to grow.
The study, which was published in the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research this week, compared Sweden to twelve other European countries, finding young men aged 15 to 29 were ten times more likely to be fatally shot than young men in Germany and six times more likely to be shot than young men in Britain, Dagens Nyheter reports.
Over the past ten years, the researchers claim that gun violence in Sweden has dramatically increased, but criminologist Manne Gerell, one of the researchers who authored the paper, said that this did not fully explain the results of the study.
Gerell said that more research was needed to explain why Sweden had such different results from other European countries.
“We have gone from younger men being shot a little more often than older men until now they are shot much more often,” Gerell said.
Sweden: Deadly Violence at Highest Level Since Records Began https://t.co/gr1IGLA0RP
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Gerell added that the number of shootings in areas that many label no-go zones are much more numerous than other areas of major Swedish cities. “In Malmö half of the shooting takes place in ten areas, but that means half takes place somewhere else, even though it happens less often there,” Gerell noted.
The researcher also noted that despite the fact Sweden has a relatively high rate of legal firearms ownership, most of the fatal shootings in the country were carried out with weapons smuggled in from other countries. Earlier this year, Bosnian prosecutor Goran Glamocanin claimed that Sweden had become the largest market in Europe for weapons trafficked from the Balkans.
The Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå) released statistics earlier this year that conform to the findings of the report, stating that deadly violence in Sweden last year was the highest the organisation had logged since it started recording the statistics in 2002.
In some areas of Sweden, shootings have dramatically increased. In 2017, the city of Helsingborg saw a 300 per cent increase in shootings compared to the previous year, with most victims being young men in their 20s.