Swedish police reveal latest move to crack down on gang crime

Swedish police are assigning a special detail after a recent spate of shootings and explosions, which saw a 15-year-old boy shot dead in Malmö two days ago.

Swedish police reveal latest move to crack down on gang crime
Police investigating after a shooting in Malmö on Saturday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Mats Löfving, head of the police's national operations department Noa, on Sunday ordered police to treat the wave of violent crime in recent weeks as a so-called “special national incident”.

This means creating a temporary task force that is given increased powers, access to resources and focuses only on the incident. Löfving appointed Stefan Hector, who led the police units that worked during the terror attack on Drottninggatan in Stockholm in 2017, to command the detail.

The focus is on “serious organized crime that culminates in homicides with shootings and the use of explosives”, said Noa in a statement. More was to be revealed at a press conference on Monday.

The decision comes after a 15-year-old boy was shot dead in Malmö's Möllevångtorget square on Saturday evening, one of the busiest times of the week for the area's many bars and restaurants.

But it also follows an unprecedented increase in the use of explosives in Sweden, which has seen the national bomb squad called out to around 100 blasts this year – more than double of last year.

There have been no deaths linked to these blasts, which have varied in size with some the equivalent of large fireworks and others ripping apart the facade of apartment buildings.

But police have said “it's pure luck” that there have not been more serious injuries.

Sweden's crime rate remains one of the lowest in the world. Despite a rise in murders linked to gangs since the 1990s, there has been a reduction in murders linked to domestic violence, hate crime and 'spontaneous fights', meaning the overall homicide rate is lower today than in the early 1990s.

But rise in criminal gangs willing to resort to fatal violence is still a cause for concern both at home and abroad. Earlier this year Denmark reintroduced border checks with Sweden after two bombings in Copenhagen which were linked to a Swedish gang conflict.

Law and order, including crime reports, accounted for 35 percent of TV news coverage between August and September this year and the subject often dominates political debate, including ahead of last year's general election.


special incident – (en) särskild händelse

crime – (ett) brott

violence – våld

police – polis

shooting – (en) skjutning/skottlossning

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Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

The former politician has been charged on suspicion of murdering his colleague in an apartment south of Stockholm, after police found body parts in three different locations in the capital.

Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

According to the prosecution, the body parts found in plastic bags in central Stockholm came from a man in his 60s murdered in an apartment in Nyköping, south of Stockholm.

The man is said to have been killed by a pistol shot to the head, after which the 60-year-old charged with the murder dismembered the body.

The suspected murderer, who newspaper Expressen reports is a former Sweden Democrat politician, is said to have moved the body parts multiple times, eventually dumping them across the city.

In total, three body parts were found in two different locations – the Karlsberg canal and in the Djurgården park. Not all parts of the body have yet been found.

“We’ve carried out a comprehensive investigation into the victim and the suspect. We can, to some extent, show how and when the suspect moved the body parts,” prosecutor Marina Chirakova told TT.

The victim, who according to Expressen was also a former Sweden Democrat politician, had been friends with the suspected murderer for a number of years. Prosecutors did not comment on the motive behind the murder.

“That will be discussed in the main hearings,” she told TT.

The suspect was taken into custody in November last year after being arrested in Nyköping. He denies the charges, but accepts certain circumstances related to the case.

Upon his arrest, he resigned from his political obligations and his membership was frozen by the Sweden Democrats.

“I don’t want to comment on his stance on the charges or anything he has said,” she further told TT.

The murder is suspected to have taken place between August 30th and September 16th last year.