In recent years Sweden has seen a worrying increase in violence generated by organized crime. In 2019 in particular, 8,350 reports of rape were filed, leading to a police operation that has exposed the gangs behind the chaos on the streets.
According to a report in the Swedish newspaper The Local, more than 1.5 million crimes were perpetrated in Sweden in 2019, causing a substantial change in public order conditions from the previous year.
Among the various crimes that showed a particular increase were drug trafficking, which increased by 6 percent over the previous year, and vandalism, which increased by 8 percent.
According to Fox News, gang rivalries that have intensified over drug trafficking led to an increase in bombings last year to 257, as well as an increase in widespread violence.
The worsening public order problem has also led to more citizen protests demanding stricter policies, eventually causing the police to implement the so-called Rimfrost operation, through which 32 men who play a major role in organized crime were identified.
As the Times of Sweden noted, police records show that 15 of the 32 registered criminals were born in Sweden and are second generation immigrants, while the remaining 17 leaders have lived in Sweden since childhood.
The area where the problem has had the greatest impact is in the Rinkeby district, which some people refer to as ‘the forbidden district.’ As the above-mentioned media points out, the conflict between gangs is particularly intense there.
The gangs that have taken an active role in the escalation of violence are: the Death Patrol, Shottaz, 24K, Husby Hyenas, and the Tensta network. Over the last four years 10 people have been killed and several injured in the shootings that have taken place in Rinkeby as well as in the surrounding areas.
The possible causes for the increase in criminal activity that has taken place in the country that is known to have few social divisions could be related to immigration that spread throughout Europe and intensified in the 2015.
According to Fox News, the civil war that took place in Syria and in a good part of the Middle East and North Africa led to a massive wave of immigrants seeking asylum in Europe and particularly in Sweden, a country that committed itself to the situation of refugees, reaching some 162,877 applications for asylum in 2015.
According to the Migration Policy website, from 2018 the population of foreigners born in Sweden will represent 18.5 percent of the 10 million inhabitants.
Due to the public discontent with traditional immigration policies, the Swedish government decided to implement stricter laws for the control of immigrants; however, public opinion reinforced the idea that the government was incapable of addressing Sweden’s social problems.
As Fox News pointed out, progressive Sweden succumbed to populist sentiment on the European right after anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats won 17 percent of the vote in the 2018 national elections.