This content is not available in your region

Sweden to deploy more police resources in Stockholm to tackle violent crime

Access to the comments Comments
By Matthew Holroyd
A notable Swedish rapper was shot dead in a Stockholm district in October.
A notable Swedish rapper was shot dead in a Stockholm district in October.   -   Copyright  Christine Olsson/TT via AP

Swedish police say they will deploy an additional 180 officers to Stockholm in an effort to combat violence and organised crime.

Dozens of police staff will be temporarily transferred to the Swedish capital for six months as part of the plans.

Sweden's police authority said the move will help "meet the challenges of serious violent crime" in Stockholm.

"The Stockholm police region has already been heavily burdened by many investigations and operational work on serious violent crime linked to criminal environments and vulnerable areas," a statement read.

Although additional resources had already been deployed on the city's streets, police said the situation is "still very tense".

A further 180 investigators, analysts, intervention officers, and technicians will begin supporting police in Stockholm from January 17.

"One of the strengths of being a Swedish police force is that we are able to move resources ... to where the needs are greatest," said Johan Olsson, head of Sweden's National Operations Department (NOA).

"Now Stockholm needs additional resources to meet the challenging situation there," Olsson added.

Sweden has witnessed an increase in violent crime and gang-related delinquency across major cities. According to police figures, at least 44 people have died in shooting incidents so far this year.

In October, the award-winning rapper Einár was shot dead in southern Stockholm, in what police suspect may have been a gang-related incident.

Four months earlier, a 17-year-boy fatally wounded a police officer in Gothenburg -- the first time an active police officer had been shot dead in Sweden in 14 years.

Sweden’s government has recently said it would look at extending national security laws to allow police to spy on suspected gangs and access mobile phone data.

Authorities hope this "major transfer" of police resources will help reduce similar instances of violent crime.

"The decision to temporarily relocate police officers to Stockholm will increase our ability to break the ongoing cycle of gun violence," said Mats Löfving, regional police chief in Stockholm.

"The long-term goal is to reduce the number of vulnerable areas and criminal networks in the region."

On Thursday, Stockholm police also arrested six people and seized a number of weapons after searching 20 homes and vehicles.

Those detained now face charges of preparation for murder, aggravated weapons offences, and aggravated drug offences, according to a statement.

"For some years now, there has been a conflict over the drug market between two criminal groups in an area in the Stockholm North police district," said Andreas Franke of the Stockholm Regional Investigation Unit.

"These seizures and arrests are an important part of reducing the supply of weapons and drugs and the criminal networks in the region."