Sweden sees rise in shootings despite police crackdown on gang crime

The number of shootings increased in Sweden in the first four months of the year according to new police figures, despite a massive police operation to crack down on gang violence.

Sweden sees rise in shootings despite police crackdown on gang crime
Police commissioner Stefan Hector. Photo: Thea Åhs/TT

Fifteen people were killed in 98 shootings between January and April, the police commissioner in charge of a task force fighting criminal bomb attacks and shootings said on Wednesday.

That's an increased compared to the same period last year, when there were 81 shootings with 15 people killed, but relatively unchanged compared to previous years. Nine people were killed in 76 shootings during the same four months in 2018, and the year before that a total of 16 people were killed in 99 shootings.

Stefan Hector is the police commissioner in charge of Operation Hoarfrost (Operation Rimfrost), a so-called “special national incident” launched in November 2019 to look into violent gang crime incidents in Sweden.

He said the new figures did not show that the operation had been a failure.

“No, I would not say that. There's more to the situation than just comparing figures,” he told newswire TT.

“We can see that a number of serious violent crimes have been prevented thanks to police activity. So things would have been worse if we had not carried out this operation,” Hector added.

Since mid-December, police have carried out 754 raids, seized 696 weapons, 155.5 kilos' worth of explosives, 168 kilos of amphetamine, around 60 kilos of cocaine, and more than 4.5 million kronor.

A total of 246 people have been remanded in custody by courts (häktade).

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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.