A Swedish opposition politician suggests a drastic solution to ever increasing gang violence:
Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, said his party wants to “declare war” on organized crime, and suggested using military help to support the police could be a way of doing so.
Interviewed following the debate, PM Löfven said that using military resources was not his preferred method but did not appear to rule it out.
“Putting the military in wouldn’t be my first measure, but I am prepared to do what is needed to ensure that organized crime is eliminated,” he told news agency TT.
Åkesson, leader of the rapidly growing Sweden Democrats, nails the real problem:
“People are shot to death in pizza restaurants, people are killed by hand grenades they find on the street. This is the new Sweden; the new, exciting dynamic, multicultural paradise that so many here in this assembly … have fought to create for so many years.”
The proportion of the population who have been victims of what is classed as ‘crime against an individual’ – assault, threats, mugging, fraud, harassment, or sexual assault – is at its highest level since records began in 2006. The report is based on survey answers, not on reports to the police.
In total, more than 15 percent of people surveyed said they had been a victim of at least one such crime in 2016, a figure which was up from 13.3 percent the previous year.
“What really stands out is that this is such a broad increase, affecting almost all types of crime,” criminology researcher Manne Gerell told The Local. “I think this rise is worrying; it’s something that deserves a lot of attention. We’ve had declining or at least stable rates of victimization over the past ten years at least in Sweden, and now it looks like the trend has shifted to an increase in crime.”
Åsa Strid from [The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå)] finds one area of increase especially concerning:
“Just like last year, we see a continued increase of harassment, fraud, and sexual offences. These results raise a number of questions about why so many more people are reporting that they have experienced sexual offences.”
Over the past year alone, the proportion of Swedes who were victims of sexual offences rose sharply from 1.7 percent in 2015 to 2.4 percent, equivalent to 181,000 people. Looking at women alone, 4.1 percent said they had suffered sexual offences, with 16-24-year-olds the worst affected age group.
The crime increase flummoxes a highly educated but blissfully ignorant crime expert:
As for the reasons behind the increase, more research is needed.
“One possible reason is the problems facing the Swedish police at the moment. They feel like they lack the resources to do their job properly, and they struggle to investigate homicides and shootings, so there’s even less time to spend on things like burglaries and other more common crimes,” explained Gerell.
“So that’s one plausible explanation, but this can’t explain the whole change. There’s likely something else but I wouldn’t know what that is.”
It’s highly unlikely the military will be called in; Sweden’s army would likely suffer an humiliating arse-kicking.