In numbers: Here’s what Sweden’s major anti-gang operation did and didn’t achieve

A major police operation launched to crack down on gang-related killings is now coming to an end, and police say they have made progress although the number of shootings has not fallen across the country.

In numbers: Here's what Sweden's major anti-gang operation did and didn't achieve
Stefan Hector, head of the operation, and Helena Trolläng, head of the National Forensic Centre. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Back in November, Swedish police outlined its plan to fight violent crime following a wave of shocking incidents, including the fatal shootings of a 15-year-old and a sharp rise in the number of gang-related explosions.

Operation Hoarfrost, as it was named, had the goals of reducing the number of explosions and shootings in Sweden and increasing the feeling of public safety.

The figures so far show that this has not been achieved on a national level.

The number of shootings in Sweden remains roughly the same as recent years, although there has been a change in the locations where the operation concentrated the resources.

7: Number of months the operation was in progress

First launched in early November last year, police on Thursday announced it would now come to an end. This is partly because it required police officers to relocate from other parts of the country to work in Malmö and Uppsala, and partly because the use of a 'special national incident' like this is meant to be temporary, requiring special powers and a change in how decision-making works.


735: People brought into police custody

A total of 735 people were taken into custody, 410 kept in custody, and 339 detained in connection with the operation.

“Before Hoarfrost, we had a good picture of the people who were behind this crime development. This intelligence has become even deeper now and we will continue the work after Hoarfrost to trace links between serious criminals in different parts of the country,” said Stefan Hector, commander-in-chief of the operation.

50%: The fall in shootings in Malmö

The number of shootings in Malmö, the city at the centre of the operation, halved in comparison to the previous two years. In Uppsala, there has not been a single shooting since the operation began there. And in these two areas, where police focused early on, the number of explosions have also fallen, even if nationwide there has not been a visible improvement.

“Our assessment is that without Hoarfrost it could have looked worse. Already when the operation was started, we were clear that the goal was to break the negative trend of deaths and explosions, not to solve the whole social problem. That requires long-term and sustained work,” said Mats Löfving, head of the police's national operational department.

804: Weapons confiscated

In addition to confiscating 804 weapons, police involved in the operation also confiscated 321 kg of explosive materials. Police carried out more than 1,000 raids on homes.

10 million: Kronor confiscated in cash

The precise figure was 10,042,235 kronor. Police also confiscated 30 cars and 39 designer watches; one of the watches was worth over 1 million kronor while 3 of the cars were worth more than 2.5 million kronor. And a significant amount of drugs was also confiscated, including 75 kg of cocaine, 13.3 kg of ecstasy, and 256 kg of amphetamine.

Member comments

  1. Solution: (1) actually have the police patrol and not just respond to 112 calls; (2) pay the police more so they stop taking bribes; and (3)stop making Swedish jails like 4-star hotels.

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