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Is Sweden getting swamped with criminal gangs? Well, it depends on who one asks.

Friday, 24 June 2011
Compared with other countries, according to internationally comparable data, Sweden continues to remain very peaceful place and hold some of the best qualities of life. That is acceptable on paper but on the ground here, as we go about our businesses in Sweden, it is observed that things are changing and the security situation of the country being eroded.
It is not really clear where the data showing that Sweden is like a safe haven is obtained because thing can get really violent here.

Two main areas are example of how Sweden is getting violent - football hooliganism and criminal gang culture. We want to focus on criminal gang culture because this affects every one’s daily life. We will deal with football later.

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Criminal motorcycle gangs groups such as the Hells Angels and Bandidos are now having more subdivisions in Europe than in the United States. In Sweden in the big cities during the year, several criminal gangs have emerged leading to direct shootings on the streets – something that was usually attributed to places such as New York or London.

The picture presented by the Swedish police is clear: More gangs are basing in the country, especially suburban gangs, and therefore, there is also increased competition. There, gang members are prepared to take a very serious violence approach in order to take more shares of the criminal market.

In Gothenburg, Stockholm Malmo, these gangs are very active and sometimes bullets just fly around as it in a war zone.  Anders Berntsson from Gothenburg has fifteen years experience of being a member of a criminal gang. He wanted to be seen and feared in the fellowship. But now he is not a member anymore. He works to help others who have decided to break up from the gang culture of start over.

It was a well-attended press conference in Malmo, Thursday, May 12 this year, in which a preliminary investigation carried out by the county police in southern Sweden, lead by Jan Cederholm, talked about the young man whom, according to several witnesses unmasked in mid-day and shoots to death a 36-year-old man with three shots in head in a parking slot.

The killed 36-year-old has suspected links to criminal networks. And the case as suspected, therefore, will be difficult to solve:
“Among other things, many in the circle around the victim are not willing to talk to us,” he said to press.
And now a month later, he is still not arrested for the murder. There have also been several shootings in recent years in Sweden, on the street, with suspected links to criminal gangs. Even shots have been fired agent the police especially in Malm�.

Large Swedish cities are becoming scary places over 20 persons have been shot in Gothenburg and Malm� since the beginning of this year. The police for nearly two years now have been beefing up against serious organized crime with specific action groups and intelligence units across the country, is being give an idea of why the violence escalated over the past two years.

Klas Friberg, head of National Police said that that:
“There is conflict on the territory of the criminals in the market you intend to pursue, whether it's drug business, or if it's extortion. And some of these criminal organizations that have existed for some years now have competition from what we sometimes call ethnic groups combined, or so-called suburban gangs.”

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The tension between criminal gangs is also spreading more and more outside the country's largest cities. Here, the criminal gang M-16 with close ties to network Black Cobra expanded in the past six months in Link�ping. They are suspected of making money from drugs, extortion and collection.

There are about 20 men between 17 and 37 years who are considered more or less full-fledged members of the gang M-16 here. When it was formed last summer, only handfuls were members. And police suspect that a further ten are on track to become members. And it's usually the young, unemployed men who are attracted:
Officials say it's easy money and to be a part of something here. This is very often people who have been pretty messy since they were quite young.

The country is now coming up with several initiatives to try to and stop the recruiting into gangs and to help those who want to leave gangs. Now in June, for example, on a trial initiated special social teams in 12 cities and districts will be launched. Botkyrka, �rebro and Lund are some of the regions that will front run the initiative.

This goes into particular school, police and social services staff to be together to capture young people between 15 and 25 who start to commit crimes and then offer them help, such as family therapy, for example.
According to past criminal who are ready to help those want to leave, using their experience, they stand to provide better solution that officials and bureaucrats according to the views of some past criminals or gang members. 

Sweden continues to be a place with two faces. Viewed from the outside as a utopia, a place every one would love to live and bring up a family but while inside it is just as hard as somewhere not seen before. London could be better in that one knows that it is a rough city but Swedish cities are perceived to be friendly and peaceful but one can be caught on a cross faire.

However, this report is not destined to scare visitors to Sweden. This is just to illustrate a society that is grappling with the ills of inequality and how these ill leader to insecurity. Visitors and tourists will not feel anything but for those who want to take Sweden as their place of residence should be aware of some of these difficulties and be on their guard.
By Scancomark.se Team



Key Swedish Facts
Official Name Kingdom of Sweden
King Carl XVI Gustaf
Prime minister Frederick Reinfeldt
Population 9.3 Million
Capital City Stockholm
Monetary Unit Sweden Krona (SEK)
  1kr = 100 ore
Domain Name .se
Int. Dialling Code +46
Official Language Swedish - Main
Other minor languages
Religion Christianity
Main stock market Name NASDQ OMX
  • OMX 40
  • OMX 30
Internet Speed 5.7 Mbps (2009)
Vital Links
Statistics Sweden
Official gateway to Sweden
Government of Sweden
OECD  &  Sweden
Swedish Central Bank

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