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Crime in Sweden: a look at where the fatal shootings happen

New police statistics reveal which regions saw the most shootings in Sweden last year, and how this compares to previous years.

Crime in Sweden: a look at where the fatal shootings happen
A non-fatal shooting in Malmö in December last year. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Malmö and its surrounding region saw the most deadly shootings in Sweden last year, with the city's ongoing gang war leaving 14 dead and 28 wounded, according to new police statistics published on Wednesday.
 
In their report, Swedish police said that most recent shootings appeared connected to battles over the narcotics trade, which has grown significantly, with the number of police narcotics cases doubling over the last decade. 
 
“The police have a very good picture of which conflicts are occurring in different parts of the country and we are working hard at seizing people and bringing them before the courts,”  said Mats Löfving, head of Noa, the Swedish police's national coordinating body. 
 
“You can see that among other things in the fact that remand prisons, prisons and youth offenders' centre are pretty much all full.” 
 
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The number of fatal shootings in the police's southern district, which includes Malmö, increased to 14 from ten in 2017, while the number of fatal shootings in the police's western region, which includes Gothenburg, increased from five to ten.
 
The number of fatal shootings in the Stockholm region fell from 19 to 11, but this was not enough to stop the number of 45 gun deaths over Sweden as a whole, compared to 43 in 2017. 
 
The total number of shootings fell, however, with 306 in 2018 compared to 324 in 2017. 
 

The number of fatal shootings in Sweden between 2006 and 2018. Image and statistics: TT/Police

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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