In Sweden, a record 60 People were Shot Dead in 2022EU | December 20, 2022, Tuesday // 12:23| views
Sixty people have been shot dead in Sweden this year, a record number in the country's modern history, Reuters reported on Monday, citing government information.
Sweden has seen a spate of shootings in recent years, with police and authorities blaming criminal gangs that roam large cities such as the capital Stockholm.
"Gun violence has risen and unfortunately reached a new bloody record this year," Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer told media.
He said that there have been 60 fatal shootings in Sweden this year, compared to four in Norway and Denmark and two in Finland. The deaths are just the tip of the iceberg of violence and organized crime that is entrenched in parts of society, Stroemer said.
Last year, 45 people were shot in Sweden. In 2012, the number was 17, according to data from the Swedish National Crime Prevention Council.
Strömmer said the government would create a special council in the justice ministry to coordinate the fight against organized crime.
"A decent society cannot accept that every week someone is shot on the street," said Strömmer.
Over the past twenty years, Sweden has gone from having one of the lowest rates of gang violence to one of the highest rates, according to the Crime Prevention Council.
Among the anti-organized crime measures of the previous Social Democratic government were strengthening the under-resourced police force and introducing tougher sentences for crimes committed with firearms.
But the failed attempt to reverse the crime trend was one of the main reasons the Social Democrats lost elections in September against a right-wing coalition that promised even tougher measures.
The current government wants to increase police powers, double penalties for organized crime offenses and increase the authorities' ability to snoop on criminals. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the measures were part of the authorities' strongest attempt to fight organized crime in modern Swedish history.
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