Sweden: Rise in fatal shootings linked to mass migration, Gothenburg police commissioner says

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In the wake of a government commissioned report which noted that Sweden is the only country in Europe where fatal shootings are increasing, Gothenburg’s police chief has publicly recognized that there is in fact a clear link between the surge of fatal shootings and mass migration.

Erik Nord, the police commissioner of the Greater Gothenburg region, commented on a recent report published by the Crime Prevention Council (Brå), saying that the shocking increase of lethal firearm violence and gang-related crime in Sweden is connected to mass migration.

In an opinion editorial penned for Goteborgs Posten, Commissioner Nord wrote: “It is no longer a secret today that much of the problem of gang and network crime with the shootings and explosions is linked to migration to Sweden in recent decades.”

“When, like me, you have the opportunity to see cases at the individual level, you see that virtually everyone who shoots or is shot in gang conflicts originates from the Balkans, the Middle East, North or East Africa.”

Deadly gun violence plagues Sweden

Alongside mass immigration, Nord points out that there are several factors which have likely contributed to the dramatic increase in shootings, including individual characteristics, disparate cultural values, and dysfunctional family environments.

Additionally, Nord believes that gun violence is more prevalent in Sweden than it is in Germany — a country with a similar socioeconomic profile which, like Sweden, has seen a large influx of migrants in the past several years — partly because Sweden has a significantly smaller amount of police officers per capita.

“It may be that part of the explanation for the bleak development in Sweden stems from a too small-sized police force that for many years has built up a debt that is now manifesting itself in the form of deadly gun violence,” Nord said.

The police chief’s commentary comes less than a year after left-wing politicians and members of Sweden’s liberal press accused him of being a “racist” for saying that foreign criminals do not belong in the country.

Nord is not the only prominent official in Gothenburg raising concerns. Just last week, a city councilor from the Moderates party requested that the military be sent into the city to take on criminal gangs due to spiraling violence. 

Violence across Sweden tied to rising migration

In 2020, Sweden saw more lethal violence — attempted murders, murders, and fatal beatings — than any year since 2002, when the country first began keeping track of such statistics. The sheer number of killings prompted Sweden’s Deputy National Police Chief Mats Löfving to announce that at least 40 migrant gangs are currently operating throughout the country. According to Löfving, these gangs are responsible for the surge of deadly violence.

“These clans have come to Sweden solely to organize crime. They work to create power, they have a great capacity for violence, and they want to make money. And they do that through drug crimes, violent crimes, and extortion,” Löfving said during an interview with Swedish media last year.

Past reports have also underlined the fact the most convicted rapists in Sweden have been born abroad. In the fall of 2018, Swedish public broadcaster SVT released data which revealed that nearly 60 percent of men convicted of rape or attempted rape over the past five years were foreign-born.

Another report, this time carried out by the newspaper Sydsvenskan in September 2019, revealed that the vast majority of shooting suspects in Malmö — Sweden’s third-largest city — had migrant backgrounds.

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