Bombings increased significantly in 2015, with Swedish police investigating around 100-150 explosions. There were over 30 explosions reported in the Swedish city of MalmÃ¶ alone by August 2015, up from a total of 25 in all of 2014. MalmÃ¶ police have consequently warned about undetonated grenades in the city. According to Swedish police, the use of hand grenades in crime is unprecedented in all comparable European and non-European countries, and the only countries with similar characteristics are those with warlike conditions.
The devices are easily obtained, says Reine Bergland of Stockholm police. They can be bought from gangs for just a couple of hundred Swedish kroner (about Â£20).
“Sometimes when they buy weapons they get grenades as part of the deal. They throw in a couple of hand grenades, so to speak.”
The rise in possession of hand grenades – mainly unused stock from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s – has come to symbolise Sweden’s heated debate about violent crime as it heads towards an election in September.
The rate of violent crime in the suburbs of Sweden’s big cities has worsened in recent years, in what officials blame on rising gang-related crime.
There were 306 shootings last year, which left 41 people dead. In 2011, there were 17 fatalities.
The violence has turned some parts of Stockholm into “no-go zones” for paramedics, says Henrik Johansson, former head of Sweden’s paramedics union.
“People who live in these areas are very scared to call the police or get help from ambulances. They are scared about consequences for them and their families.”
Police have acknowledged 60 or so “vulnerable areas” but reject the description of “no-go zones”, a highly loaded term in Sweden.
After all, violent crime in Sweden and who is to blame for it has become an ideological battlefield.
In February 2017 US President Donald Trump controversially linked the problem to the influx of migrants to Sweden.
“Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible,” he said.
A self-proclaimed humanitarian superpower, Sweden took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita during the migrant crisis of 2015. Many were refugees fleeing war and abuses in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. …
Sweden’s government denies it is immigrants who are causing the rise in crime. (! — DZ)
“The people who are causing problems for us today, the vast majority of them are born in Sweden, and that’s not a notion of migration. That’s an issue of integration and an issue of social inclusion,” said Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, a centre-left Social Democrat.