Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he will meet the national army and police chiefs on Friday to combat a surge in gang violence, as the country reels from record shooting deaths this month.
“Tomorrow I will meet the national police chief and the commander in chief to see how the defense force can help the police in their work against the criminal gangs,” Kristersson said in an address to the nation on Thursday.
“I hope all parties in the Swedish parliament can come together in support of those strong and pattern-breaking actions that need to be taken.”
The Scandinavian nation has been rocked by a record number of shootings this month, amid a spread of gang violence from larger urban areas to smaller towns, Reuters reported.
There were 11 gun killings in September, making it the deadliest month since December 2019. Police said about 30,000 people in Sweden are directly involved with or have links to gang crime, according to the news agency.
On Wednesday, three people – two men and a woman – were killed in just 12 hours in incidents related to gang violence near the Swedish capital, Stockholm, Swedish police told CNN.
Children and innocent people are affected by the serious violence, Kristersson added.
“I can’t emphasize enough how serious the situation is. Sweden has never seen anything like it, no other country in Europe is experiencing anything like this,” the Swedish prime minister said.
“We will hunt the gangs, and we will defeat the gangs. We will take them to court. If they’re Swedish citizens they will be locked up for a long time in prison and if they are foreign citizens, they will also be expelled.”