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Police project pushes down gun crime

Published onsdag 7 januari 2015 kl 15.20
"It took almost a year"
(4:30 min)
Фото: Hardy/Flickr
Police say if guns are hidden instead of carried, criminals are less likely to use them. Photo: Hardy/Flickr

A Gothenburg police officer tells Radio Sweden they have made criminals wary of carrying weapons, meaning many cool off and decide not to shoot, in the time it takes to retrieve their guns.

Pål Sjölander is in charge of the project at the police in the Västra Götaland area, which includes Sweden's second-biggest city of Gothenburg.

He says they have had 100 officers working on this since September 2013

Sjölander says there has been a dramatic drop in shootings within 2014. From 48 in the first third of 2014, to just 4 in the last part of the year.

"It took almost a year before the shootings went down. We focused on a number of highly active criminals and followed them all the time, stopped them and worked close to them all the time. We took a lot of guns from these people and now they are afraid to carry them. They hide them in the forest instead. And so it takes a while to fetch a gun, and in that time they can calm down and think about the situation.

He says the problem is rooted in a number of gangs that "control" different areas of the city, and the shootings are always about gang disputes.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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