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Fewer shootings in Sweden this year, but figures compare poorly with other countries

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Fewer shootings in Sweden this year, but figures compare poorly with other countries
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
15:00 CEST+02:00
The number of shootings in Sweden has almost halved so far this year compared to 2017, according to one report, although a long-term study shows gun violence amongst young men to be higher in Sweden than other European countries.

During the first four months of 2018, 59 shooting incidents occurred in Sweden in comparison to 100 during the corresponding period of 2017, broadcaster SVT reports.

Figures for injuries and deaths resulting from shootings have also fallen, according to the report.

Between January and April 2017, 35 people were injured and 16 killed in shootings. The corresponding numbers for 2018 are 27 and eight respectively.

“We have seen a decrease in the number of shootings and we believe we are heading in the right direction,” Christopher Wedelin of Stockholm Police said.

Shooting figures for Stockholm and Malmö decreased, but an increase occurred in Gothenburg, setting the city as an outlier to the trend, according to SVT’s survey.

Meanwhile, a long-term study showed trends relating to shootings in Sweden that paint a less than positive picture in comparison to other countries.

The number of deaths from shootings in Sweden is more than twice as high as in comparable countries, according to a study in which thirteen European nations are compared.

The report shows a marked difference between some of the countries included in the study, Dagens Nyheter reports.

Deaths caused by shootings of men aged between 15 and 29 occur ten times more often in Sweden than in Germany and are also six times more common than in the United Kingdom, according to the report.

The research group behind the study said that there is no definite explanation as to why the statistic for Sweden compares so unfavourably. Countries with similar patterns for immigration, such as Germany, do not show similar trends to the Scandinavian country.

Organised crime culture may however be a factor.

“It seems as though criminal groups have got a certain acceptance for using firearms,” one of the researchers behind the study, Manne Gerell, told Dagens Nyheter.

The study focuses on the period between 1996 and 2015 and was published in the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.

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