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How Sweden Became a Gangster's Paradise – by Peter Jensen for The Gatestone Institute – 02.06.23

After the Russian invasion of the Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland abandoned generations of neutrality to apply for membership in the NATO military alliance. However, there is already a gang war going on in Swedish streets, and it has nothing to do with Russia.


National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg estimated that more than 30,000 people are now involved in gang violence in Sweden... According to Thornberg, the situation is "extremely serious," with organized crime infiltrating and corrupting the democratic society, the business world and the public sector.


Some two million immigrants (20% of the population) now live in Sweden, according to David Jones in the Daily Mail, Many come from the most troubled parts of Asia and Africa and have not integrated well into Swedish society. Rival gangs now shoot each other on a regular basis.


In Stockholm alone, 52 gangs are vying for control of the burgeoning drug trade, according to a police report, and they are becoming ever more ruthless. Some child gang members even carry explosives in their school thermos flasks. Jones writes:


"Twenty years ago, gun crime was almost non-existent here." — David Jones, the Daily Mail, February 10, 2023.


"Ten to fifteen years ago, it was about shoplifting when we were dealing with 14-year-olds, but now they deal in drugs and handle automatic weapons... Older criminals use children to avoid being caught themselves, and for the children, it is a sign of status to be chosen. It starts as a cool thing for a kid who can't see consequences and ends up getting involved in gang conflicts."— Police officer who asked to remain anonymous, document.no, March 1, 2023.


When available resources are dedicated to investigating shootings and bombings, other crimes such as burglary or theft have become effectively risk-free. This inversion of law enforcement contributes to a growing sense of lawlessness now being felt by many Swedes. What is the point of having laws if they are not enforced, or only used to punish honest citizens?


Since 2010, shoplifting in Sweden has doubled.


More serious crime is also being ignored or de-prioritized by an understaffed police force. In the city of Uppsala, victims of rape complain that they must wait for months to be interviewed.... Most available police resources are now dedicated to combating criminal gangs.


Swedish schools are also becoming increasingly violent, for teachers and pupils alike. Reports about threats and violence at schools have more than doubled since 2012. These reports mainly concern students who have attacked teachers with threats, punches, or strangulation.


In Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, native Swedes are already a minority. The city is experiencing a kind of "white flight." Many move to smaller towns to find safer environments and schools for their families.


While ownership of rifles for hunting is not uncommon in Sweden, owning guns for self-defence had never, until recently, been a reason to be granted a firearms license.


Between January and May 2023, Swedish police recorded on average one completed bomb detonation every two days. If you add the bombs that were in preparation, but not yet detonated, Sweden experienced one explosives-related crime per day. Rival gangs increasingly continue to target each other's relatives with revenge attacks.


In early May 2023, National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg stated that more than 1,000 people are initiated into criminal gangs across Sweden every year. Despite some arrests, the rate of recruitment shows no sign of slowing down. With three new recruits, many noticeably young, added every day, it is virtually impossible to reduce the total number of active gang members.


Thornberg estimated that more than 30,000 people are now involved in gang violence in Sweden. For comparison, he stated that the number of police officers in Sweden is 22,600. The number of gang members already exceeds the number of police and keeps growing at an alarming rate. According to Thornberg, the situation is "extremely serious," with organized crime infiltrating and corrupting the democratic society, the business world and the public sector.


That Sweden has become one of Europe's most violent countries has finally attracted international attention. The French newspaper Le Monde lamented "Sweden's powerlessness in the face of organized violence." The paper quoted Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson from the Moderate Party stating that the situation is "uncontrollable" and may "get worse before it gets better." Kristersson labelled the dozens of criminal gangs in Sweden "domestic terrorists."


Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer admitted to state broadcaster SVT that with 62 fatal shootings in 2022, Swedish society has clearly failed in the fight against organized crime. Strömmer stated that there is no quick fix to the rise of gang crime in the country and warned it would take time for the government to get a handle on the situation.


Some two million immigrants (20% of the population) now live in Sweden, according to David Jones in the Daily Mail, Many come from the most troubled parts of Asia and Africa and have not integrated well into Swedish society.


Rival gangs now shoot each other on a regular basis. In Stockholm alone, 52 gangs are vying for control of the burgeoning drug trade, according to a police report, and they are becoming ever more ruthless. Some child gang members even carry explosives in their school thermos flasks. Jones writes:


"Twenty years ago, gun crime was almost non-existent here. Today, the grisly murders we see in Scandi-Noir TV series are no longer fictional. Sweden is awash with real-life crime podcasts, documentaries and books."


In his view, the Swedish justice system, "which many feel prioritises young offender's rights over those of their victims," has failed at handling the ultra-violent gang crime of recent immigrants.


"Barely a day goes by in Stockholm without a shooting or a bombing," noted Swedish journalist Paulina Neuding.


For the full article in pdf, please click here:

How Sweden Became a Gangster's Paradise – by Peter Jensen for The Gatestone Institute – 02
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Peder Jensen is a Norwegian author and essayist.


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There is a gang war going on in Swedish streets. The number of gang members already exceeds the number of police and keeps growing at an alarming rate. Pictured: Police officers look at pictures images of seized weapons in Rinkeby police station on August 31, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)


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