Sweden calls on anti-terror cop to lead specialized team targeting gangs after 15yo shot dead in Malmo
Swedish police have set up a specialist task force to tackle the recent surge in violent crime including shootings and bombings. Cops currently have 100 ongoing investigations into explosions believed linked to gangs.
Mats Löfving, head of the force’s National Operations Department (Noa), has declared the ongoing spate of gang violence a “special national incident.”
The new crack team will be led by Stefan Hector, who headed up the anti-terrorism task force following the Drottninggatan truck attack in Stockholm in 2017.
The move follows the shooting dead of a 15-year-old boy in Malmo’s Mollevangtorget square on Saturday evening. The temporary unit will have increased powers and resources, and will handle only “serious organized crime that culminates in homicides with shootings and the use of explosives.”
Malmo’s police force has pleaded with the government for more officers, investigators, interrogators and forensic technicians. The new task force will operate in tandem with the existing local police force, which is struggling under the weight of their increased caseload, including scores of ongoing investigations into bombings.
The national bomb squad has been called out to approximately 100 blasts this year alone, a massive uptick from 2018, though no deaths resulted from the blasts, with police describing it as “pure luck” that no one has been more seriously injured.
Despite the uptick in gang violence, Sweden’s crime rate still remains among the lowest in the world.
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