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Stockholm sees spike in gun deaths – but Malmö and Gothenburg go months without fatal shootings

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Stockholm sees spike in gun deaths – but Malmö and Gothenburg go months without fatal shootings
Police investigate a deadly shooting in Sätra south of Stockholm in April. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
07:57 CEST+02:00
Almost as many people as last year have been shot dead in Stockholm so far this year, according to police. Meanwhile, other cities in Sweden are showing a more positive trend.

Neither of Sweden's two other big cities, Malmö and Gothenburg, has experienced any deadly shootings this year, according to a report by Swedish public radio's news programme Ekot, based on police figures.

But Stockholm is just two fatalities away from being at the same level as last year, with nine people shot dead in the region in the first five months of the year, compared to 11 such gun deaths in 2018.

Police told Ekot that they have seen an unusually high number of shootings in the Swedish capital region this year, more than 30 altogether, a result of various gang conflicts coming to a head.

"The situation we're seeing is that we have conflicts between various networks or groups and they are continuing to create violence," said Christoffer Boman, local police chief for the Rinkeby area in Stockholm.

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Malmö in southern Sweden, a city that has developed a reputation for a high level of gang crime, has had no gun deaths this year, and remarkably few shootings – for example none at all in the month of March.

This news, reported by The Local at the time, came in contrast to 2018, which was the deadliest year to date in the city's gang conflicts, with 12 people shot dead, compared to 10 people in 2017.

Manne Gerell, Associate Professor of Criminology at Malmö University, then told The Local that it was too early to tell whether Malmö was at a turning point. 

"Obviously it's good to see that there are no shootings at the moment, but it's a bit too soon to put any interpretations on it," he said.

He said, however, that the police's Stop Shooting or Sluta Skjut programme might have played a role in declining rates of gun violence. 

"It's certainly possible. That programme has produced reductions in gun violence in other cities where it's been tested," he said. "But it could just be coincidence, or it could be having more people in prison, finally."

 
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