Sweden is at the top of Europe – when it comes to the number of deaths caused by firearms. Sweden’s rate is two and a half times the European average. The vast majority of victims are men between the ages of 20 and 30. In the past, the country did not experience such numbers at all. Immigration is to blame, even though the police do not officially disclose the identity of the victims.
At the end of May, a clash of about a hundred young immigrants from African and Middle Eastern countries broke out on the outskirts of Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg.
A man in a grocery store was killed by a bullet in the back of his head. Then there was the violent death of a police officer in the suburb of Biskopsgarden took place. A few days later, a man was murdered in a hairdressing salon on the outskirts of Frolund.
The Economist adds another event to the list of violence from recent months. Two weeks ago, two young children survived crossfire between quarreling gangs in a suburb of Stockholm.
The last incident is only a few days old. At least three people were seriously injured in a shooting in the town of Kristianstad in Southern Sweden. Two men aged 20 and 30 were injured, as well as a random passer-by, a 60-year-old woman.
Most dead after shooting
According to a recent report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, Sweden has seen the highest number of deaths caused by firearms in Europe in 15 years. Based on an analysis of data from 22 European countries provided by Eurostat and the World Health Organization (WHO), Council researcher Klara Hradilová-Selinová calculated that Sweden is in the first place. Most of the victims are men between the ages of 20 and 30.
In the infamous Hjällbo suburb of Gothenburg, 70 percent of the inhabitants were born abroad. Some analysts see a decrease in the number of police officers on duty there as the reason for the increase in crime in the area. In the past, however, they were not even needed.
In 1980, police in Gothenburg were able to solve the murders in 80 percent of cases. At present, it is only 20 percent.
Local police do not register crime suspects by ethnic origin. However, it often leaks that the participants in violent crimes are not of Swedish origin. This is reflected in gang wars as well as so-called “honor crimes” aimed at defending the family’s supposed reputation.
The turning point of 1975
Parliament in Stockholm in 1975 decided that Sweden was becoming a multicultural country and fully open to migration, recalls Kyösti Tarvainen, a professor at Aalto University in Helsinki. “At that time, more than 40 percent of the immigrants were my compatriots, the Finns,” he told the Folkbladet newspaper.
“However, the situation has changed since then. In 2019, 88 percent of immigrants were non-Western and 52 percent were Muslim. So there has been a huge cultural shift in the immigrant population, as its largest group has moved from the Finns to the Muslims,“ he added.
If the current Swedish immigration policy remains unchanged, ethnic Swedes will become a minority in 2065, he concluded.
Sweden used to be the country with the lowest crime rate in the world. “Social unrest, burning cars, rescue attacks, and riots keep recurring,” Swedish journalist Paulina Neuding wrote on the Politico website.
Sweden is now a country with a murder rate well above the European average. “Shooting in the country has become so common that it doesn’t even make headlines anymore. News of the attacks is quickly being replaced by headlines about sporting events and celebrities. Readers have lost their feelings about violence,“ she warned.
Primacy in sexual violence as well?
Sweden is also moving towards other unwanted championships. For example, Somali-based essayist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an immigrant herself living in the Netherlands, said in the online magazine Unherd that Sweden had become Europe’s “metropolis” of rape. Ali is a well-known critic of Islam calling for the reform of this religion and evaluates the issue of immigration relatively harshly.
That most of the perpetrators convicted of sexual violence in Sweden in recent years have “immigrant roots” was reported, for example, by the public service station SVT during a migrant wave three years ago.
Cases where the rape victim did not know the perpetrator have been rising in recent years. There are about 80 percent of them. It is a completely inverted situation compared to the past when the perpetrator was almost always a relative or acquaintance of the victim.
Title image: A police officer stands next to candles and flowers placed near the department store Ahlens following a suspected terror attack in central Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, April 8, 2017. A Swedish prosecutor says a person has been formally identified as a suspect “of terrorist offenses by murder” by driving a hijacked truck into a crowd of pedestrians. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)