Reported drug offences in Sweden increase in 2018

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Reported drug offences in Sweden increase in 2018
Drugs seized by police in Sweden. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/TT

The number of reported narcotics-related offences in Sweden has increased, with police saying drugs are on an upward trend in the country.


In the West police region, the number of reported offences increased by 700 between April and July this year, up to 6,160 from 5,500 according to Sveriges Radio.

The Stockholm and South police regions have also seen significant increases.

"What we’re seeing is a lot of young talents, kids around the age of 12, being forced more or less, or lured in, to sell to the higher ranking criminals," Adam Johansson, a police officer working in Stockholm’s Botkyrka, told Sveriges Radio.

IN DEPTH: Is Sweden's zero-tolerance approach to drugs a failing model?

Drugs are an increasing presence in the area in general, he noted.

"In the current situation I’ve noticed that there’s an upward trend with drugs, given we’ve found and unbelievable amount of drugs as of late, in part on people but also tucked away in storage spaces. It’s scary that there’s so much."

Cannabis remains the most common drug on Sweden's streets, but cocaine and ecstasy have also increased.

Sweden has a strict zero-tolerance approach to drugs – based on the goal of a “drug-free society” and making no distinction between "hard" and "soft" drugs – dating back to 1969. Some experts have argued it is ineffective and should be revised.

READ ALSO: Sweden's zero-tolerance policy should be reviewed, narcotics officer argues


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