Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has made the unprecedented decision to deploy the military to combat a surge of violent crime in Sweden. In a press conference held on Friday, Police Chief Anders Thornberg revealed that criminal gangs in the country are now recruiting children as hit-men, highlighting the alarming escalation of violence.
Thornberg expressed his lament that explosions and gunfire have become commonplace, even in upscale communities. He disclosed that there have been 12 killings in Sweden this month alone, marking the deadliest month the nation has witnessed in the past four years. The number of shooting deaths in Sweden reached a record high of 60 last year, a record that is likely to be surpassed this year. Just hours before Thornberg’s press conference, three more individuals fell victim to violence.
The most shocking revelation from Thornberg’s statement was that children are actively seeking employment as contract killers from ruthless gangs. These children not only receive weapons from the gangs but are also provided with the exact address where the murder is to take place. As a consequence of this deeply concerning trend, the number of children under the age of 18 taken into custody by Swedish authorities has nearly quintupled between August 2021 and last month.
Senior police officer Mats Lindstrom corroborated Thornberg’s claims, confirming that young people are indeed contacting gangs to secure hit-man jobs. Disturbingly, the victims of these child-perpetrated murders are often very young themselves.
While gang violence has plagued Sweden for some time, the acts of violence committed by these gangs against each other, innocent bystanders, and the manipulated children appear to be accelerating. In just one week in September, six people were shot, and another narrowly escaped such a fate, all within the Uppsala and Stockholm areas.
Thornberg described the escalating violence as unprecedented, asserting that there is no equivalent situation anywhere else in Europe, nor in Swedish history. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has responded to the gravity of the situation by calling in the military to assist the overwhelmed police forces in their efforts to track down and defeat the gangs. This decision is highly unusual for Sweden and reflects the severity of the crisis. Kristersson echoed Thornberg’s statements, emphasizing that Sweden has never experienced anything on this scale, and no other European country is facing a comparable challenge.
In his televised address earlier this week, Prime Minister Kristersson acknowledged that Swedish laws are ill-equipped to address the complex issues of gang wars and child soldiers. To address this shortfall, the government plans to grant police additional powers, impose longer sentences on criminals, and enhance protection for witnesses providing evidence against them.
However, despite the government’s commitment to curbing crime, Kristersson’s policies have yet to yield significant results in reducing the level of violence. The Prime Minister attributes this failure to the irresponsible migration policies and failed integration measures of previous administrations. In response, the government has implemented stricter entry criteria to address these concerns.
The situation in Sweden has garnered international attention, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to tackle the deep-rooted issues of gang violence and the recruitment of children into criminal activities. The deployment of the military represents a significant step towards restoring peace and security in the country. The government’s proposed measures to bolster law enforcement and provide support for witnesses are essential in combatting these challenges effectively. Only by addressing the underlying causes can Sweden hope to stem the tide of violence and ensure the safety of its citizens.