The Swedish police are continuing their efforts to stop gang shootings and explosions in Stockholm. The gangs are largely made up of migrants or second-generation immigrants from the third world. But there are still no signs that the major spiral of violence is slowing down.
– In the short term, we do not see that we have in any way broken the trend, says Niclas Andersson, who is responsible for the special event.
On January 20, the police decided on a so-called special event due to the ongoing wave of violence linked to conflicts between several criminal networks in Stockholm.
Two months later, the drive to stop serious violent crime continues unabated. In parallel with the many ongoing preliminary investigations, the focus is on offensive efforts and preventing new shootings and explosions, according to Niclas Andersson, operational manager for the special event “Frank” at the police in Stockholm.
– We still have a lot of violent acts, but also a very offensive work right now. We are arresting a lot of people and have seized a lot of weapons. I would estimate that almost every day we are somehow preventing various new serious violent crimes. It is an incredibly tense situation, he says.
Many automatic weapons seized
According to Niclas Andersson, some 70 pistols and revolvers have been seized since the end of December. The police have also seized over 20 automatic weapons and more than 30 kilos of explosives, while a very large number of people have been detained.
– I believe that Stockholm has never had so many detainees as today. We are at a figure of over 470 people, which is incredibly high.
As recently as the weekend, the police have made interventions that probably prevented serious violent crimes, according to Niclas Andersson. He therefore sees no signs that the spiral of violence is about to slow down.
– In the short term, we do not see that we have in any way broken the trend, but we believe that everything we do now will have long-term effects. We believe that this crime will slowly decrease and eventually come down to a lower level.
Niclas Andersson takes a serious view of the development in recent weeks with several serious acts of violence where relatives of gang criminals are believed to have become targets.
– This is a worrying development. We think it is going in the wrong direction and we must put a stop to it. We work with concerned relatives who contact us, evaluate and assess the situation and try to implement different types of operational measures to solve the problem.
To stop the cycle of violence requires long-term police work and efforts from many other social actors, but family members can also contribute to the solution by preventing children and young people from being lured into criminal networks, he says.
It is already known that many of those involved in the recent conflicts are very young.
– We have cases with everything from eight-year-olds to 13-year-olds who are socialized in these kinds of networks. They try to lure them in and create advantages for the children so that they look up to these criminals. This is a development that the police authority cannot handle on its own; the whole of society must mobilize around it.