He government of sweden announced that it will allow the army intervention to assist the police in fight against the rising wave of crime that shakes the country and left 12 dead in September alone.
In the Nordic country, shootings became an almost daily phenomenon, some of them even carried out by teenagers and children, and most of the violence is attributed to the organized crime gangs.
After a meeting with the heads of the police and the army, the Prime Minister Swedish Ulf Kristerssonpointed out his concern about this problem and maintained that both institutions will now have a official mandatel to explore forms of cooperation.
Important change in Swedish legislation
Swedish legislation currently prohibits the military from assisting the police in any situation in which the use of force may be necessary, except in the case of a terrorist attack or war.
However, the government raises a possible legal reform to expand the circumstances under which civilian forces can request assistance from the military, claiming that current rules “They are not designed for gang wars and child soldiers.”.
Kristersson indicated that the country’s current legislation needs to change to allow for greater military involvement in security efforts to address “gray zone situations in which it is not obvious what type of threat Sweden faces.”
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The Prime Minister also noted that the armed forces will only be asked to assist the police “in cases where the specialized skills of the army can be of help.”
While the modification of the law is being studied, the government emphasized that it wants the army and police forces to collaborate mutually in logistics, computer forensics and explosives analysis, what could already happen with current laws.
Ulf Kristersson, Swedish Prime Minister.
Crime and organized crime in Sweden
“The wave of violence is unprecedented in Sweden, but not in Europe either, no other country has a situation like ours“Kristersson declared at a press conference.
Eleven people were fatally shot this month and one was killed by a bomb, making September in deadliest month since December 2019.
Last year, 62 people were shot dead in Sweden and police figures show 42 deaths so far this year. Police forces link the violence to the poor integration of immigrants, an increase in the gap between rich and poor, and drug trafficking.
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While successive governments have increased funding for the police and criminal justice system and toughened penalties for violent crimes, the effects of these measures have so far been limited.
Kristersson said the government had received offers of help from across the Nordic region, adding that his counterparts in Norway, Finland and Denmark They didn’t want “Swedish gang crime to take hold” in their countries.
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Child soldiers in Swedish criminal gangs
One problem facing the Swedish government is that of “Child soldiers”that organized crime gangs they recruit to commit the murders. These young people end up being pawns of the criminal groups that fight for power in the Scandinavian country.
This week They sentenced a 15-year-old boy for the murder of the leader of a drug gang in a shopping center in the city of Malmö. Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the link between the gang war and the young people involved in shootings and bomb attacks.
Swedish media and politicians increasingly use the word child soldiersthat is to say, Child soldiersto refer to them.
“The situation of children in criminal gangs in Sweden is very similar to that of those recruited in armed conflicts,” says Henrik Häggström, an analyst at the Swedish Defense Academy.
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Häggström assures the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that the conditions that facilitate his recruitment are mainly similar: poverty, broken families and little hope for a good future. Also what they are promised: weapons, money, protection and, above all, status. In addition to the ease of manipulating children.
However, minors are also victims of murders that occur in the country. Currently, Sweden has the highest rate of young people killed by firearms of Western Europe, far above the rest of the countries.
Two months ago, the police found the body of a 14 year old boy in a wooded area in the south of Stockholm. Two weeks later, another young man of the same age also appeared dead in a forest area near the Swedish capital.
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