62,000 people linked to criminal gangs in Sweden

Deteriorating safety

Published 26 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Justice minister Gunnar Strömmer (M) calls the rise in crime a "systemic threat".

According to the police’s updated picture of the situation, there are 14,000 gang criminals in Sweden today – and another 48,000 who in various ways help the crime networks to commit crimes, store drugs or handle money.

On Friday morning, the police presented the new picture of gang crime in Sweden and concluded that it involves tens of thousands of people.

14,000 people are considered to be directly active in various criminal gangs throughout the country and form the core of the criminal networks. Another 48,000 can be linked to them, sometimes by committing crimes together with the gang members, storing drugs or helping them to launder or store money.

– We see that the criminal networks are very large, which confirms that this is a widespread and very serious social problem. But we must believe that it is possible to reverse the trend, and we are working hard to do so together with other authorities, says national police commissioner Petra Lundh.

Four out of five are men, and 80 percent have only Swedish citizenship – but it was not clear at the press conference how many of them have an immigrant background.

“Systemic crime”

– We are talking about systemic crime with a high level of violence that silences witnesses, threatens social workers, infiltrates authorities and political parties, traffics in drugs and defrauds the elderly and our welfare system, he says, adding that the criminal economy is estimated to have an annual turnover of between 100 and 150 billion SEK, according to justice minister Gunnar Strömmer (M).

– Companies are largely used as tools for crime. And unfortunately, we can also see that both perpetrators and victims are getting younger and younger. As a result, the criminal networks threaten our entire free and open society, he continues.

Strömmer is clear that Sweden stands out very negatively when it comes to gang crime and believes that efforts to stop it must be intensified.

It should also be noted that at least 1700 minors and children are considered members of criminal gangs – and another 3700 are associated with them.

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