Sweden: 62k People Linked to Gangs

  • According to a statement made by Swedish police at a press conference on Friday, nearly 62K people in the country belong, or are otherwise linked, to criminal gangs in the country. www.reuters.com
  • Swedish National Police Commissioner Petra Lundh says that authorities have identified 14K active members of criminal networks and 48K others with criminal connections. www.reuters.com
  • The estimate, published in a new report by the Swedish police and Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer, also claims that over 5K of those affiliated with or members of criminal gangs are under the age of 18. Sveriges Radio
  • Sweden had 62 deadly shootings in 2022, which was more than nine times the number of shootings that year in Norway, Finland, and Denmark combined. During the same period, the number of crimes involving explosives reached a record high. www.reuters.com
  • The Swedish government has responded to the wave of gang violence by boosting law enforcement capabilities, enacting stricter penalties for participation in organized crime, and extending outreach programs aimed at preventing involvement with criminal gangs. BNN
  • In a statement, Strömmer said that criminal gangs in Sweden had a "high propensity to violence that silences witnesses, threatens social workers, infiltrates authorities and political parties, that deals in drugs, cons elderly and our welfare systems." The Times of India

Left narrative:

  • While the current attempts by Swedish authorities to stop the rise of criminal organizations in the country are a good start, more comprehensive approaches need to be taken to stem gang violence at the source by addressing the social inequities and lack of opportunities for youth that make them susceptible to gang recruitment and violence. The government cannot merely arrest away such profound social problems.

Right narrative:

  • Sweden is a country on the brink of implosion, and the government is to blame for this crisis. Politicians in Sweden have allowed for violence and criminal organizations to flourish, at the cost of the safety of Swedish society. Civilian law enforcement organizations are no longer sufficient to stem this out-of-control crime. The army should be allowed to join the fight against corruption and crime in the country before it is too late.
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