Sweden records worst year for mass shootings: police

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — In Sweden, 48 people have been shot dead so far this year, making 2022 the worst year since 2016, Swedish police said on Friday.

The previous annual record was set in 2020, when 47 people died from gunshot wounds.

The deadliest shootings have occurred in the Stockholm area in recent years. Police officials told the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) in August that “the situation is particularly acute in Stockholm, as many of the most serious criminal disputes take place there.” Authorities said they were working to “increase preparedness to prevent serious violence and gang crime”.

“Despite the fact that we have made the largest investment in law enforcement in history and have more police officers than ever before, record numbers of criminals have been arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. The shooting continues despite the fact that there are people there,” the Minister of Justice and Home Affairs said. Morgan Johansson said: “This is because whenever a perpetrator is arrested, there is at least one other person ready to fill the empty shoe.”

A report released last spring by the Swedish National Crime Prevention Council found that of the 22 European countries compared, only Sweden had a steadily increasing trend in fatal shootings.

The increase in shooting deaths in Sweden began in the mid-2000s, but the increase picked up new momentum in 2013 and has continued since.

According to the report, 8 out of 10 shootings in Sweden occur in a gang environment. Police officials have identified 61 areas of the country that are “particularly vulnerable” to street crime and drug trafficking.

Crime and gun violence topped the agenda in Sweden’s recent general elections, with politicians from all major parties vowing to tackle soaring crime levels. The election made the far-right, anti-immigration Swedish Democratic Party her second-largest party in the country, with public approval over her 20%. Sweden records worst year for mass shootings: police

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