Police pick up a bullt casing in the fisksätra suburb of Stockholm.
Police pick up a bullet casing in the Fisksätra suburb of Stockholm. Credit: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Deadly shootings on the rise in Stockholm

1:12 min

Stockholm has surged ahead of Gothenburg as Sweden's capital of gun crime, new figures from the police show.

A total 41 people have been killed and 135 injured in around 300 shooting incidents in Sweden up to mid-December this year, according to the police figures published Thursday.

The police authority describes the shootings as "ruthless". In many cases, both victims and offenders are young and several shootings are linked to conflicts between criminals. They are often centred around drugs and acts of revenge.

In Stockholm, the number of fatal shootings has almost doubled compared to last year (18 in 2017 compared to 10 in 2016). However, in Sweden's second city, Gothenburg, fatalities have decreased. There, four people were shot to death this year, compared to six people in 2016.

"Today, they shoot more indiscriminately, using three magazines instead of three shots," Patrik Hertzman told Swedish Television News. He is the leading forensic and gun investigator at Sweden's National Forensic Centre.

In order to reduce the number of shootings, the Stockholm police are conducting a targeted effort against illegal weapons, which includes surfing the internet and darknet to detect trafficking in illegal weapons.

In Gothenburg, the police have worked to break up criminal gangs, cooperating with the city council and engaging in dialogue with residents in areas affected by shootings.

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