Sweden struggles with spike in deadly shootings

When an important person in the criminal world is fatally shot, the crime can trigger a spiral of violence.

The shooting that occurred on Christmas Day in Rinkeby was the 62nd fatal shooting in Denmark in 2022. Photo by Rene Sun / Unsplash

“A shooting means a great risk of new shootings in the coming weeks, as there is probably a counterpart who wants revenge,” Manne Gerell, a gang violence researcher at Malmö University, told TT.

The fatal shooting in Rinkeby on Christmas Day was the sixty-second in the country this year. The increase in deadly conflicts is at a historically high level, Gerell said.

“We have an increase of 38 percent compared to last year and 30 percent compared to the worst year we have registered. It is rare to see such big changes. Although these are low numbers, from 45 to 62, it is a very large increase,” he added.

“Something has happened”

There is no clear answer to why so many people have been shot dead this year. One hypothesis is that the gangs have been pressured by the large crackdowns that the police have carried out against the drug trade in the country.

“Something has happened. It has gotten worse, but it is hard to say why,” Gerell added.

According to media reports, the man who was killed on Christmas Day was a key person in a criminal gang group in Rinkeby.

The murder of such a person can lead to a vacuum and a question about who will take over the position in the gang.

“The more important a person is in the criminal world, the greater the risk of consequences when they disappear. In the Järva area, a couple of people who were very active in conflicts have ended up in prison, and that may be one of the reasons why it has been quite calm there in the past year,” Gerell noted.

Difficult for the police

But the fact that a gang leader ends up in prison can also lead to bigger conflicts, Gerell pointed out.

He accentuated that the police have had a difficult time arresting criminals for violent crimes. Instead, they used the drug trade as a way to get the people prosecuted and thus off the street.

This, in turn, can lead to more battles between people who want to take over.

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Swedish court to hear young people’s climate lawsuit against the state

Three hundred young people including activist Greta Thunberg will get to make their case after a Swedish court agreed to hear their lawsuit accusing the state of climate inaction.

Swedish court to hear young people's climate lawsuit against the state

The lawsuit, the first of its kind in the Scandinavian country, was originally filed in November 2022 by the organisation Aurora.

It argued the state “needs to do its fair share of the global work to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels”.

In its lawsuit, the group demanded the state take action to limit climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions and examine just how far it could reduce them within the limits of what is “technically and economically feasible in Sweden”.

The Nacka district court said it had given the state three months to respond to the lawsuit and that, depending on the parties’ pleas and positions, the case could either be taken to trial or handled through written procedure.

“At present, the district court cannot give a forecast as to when the case may be finalised or when it may be necessary to hold hearings in the case,” it said.

Climate activist Thunberg, who was one of the original signatories of the lawsuit, on Monday denounced an “unprecedented betrayal” from those in power after the United Nations’ climate panel warned the world was set to cross the key 1.5-degree global warming limit in about a decade.

She accuses them of living in “denial”.

In recent years, a growing number of organisations and citizens have turned to the courts to criticise what they say is government inaction on the climate.

In December 2019, the Dutch supreme court ordered the government to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent by 2020, in a landmark case brought by an environmental group.

In a similar case in France, more than two million citizens took the French state to court for failing to act against climate change.