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Swedish PM does not rule out use of army to end gang violence

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Swedish PM does not rule out use of army to end gang violence

 

2018-01-17T170755Z_1_LYNXMPEE0G1CP_RTROPTP_3_SWEDEN-PRIMEMINISTER.JPG

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (R) attends an interview at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

 

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden will do whatever it takes, including sending in the army, to end a wave of gang violence that has seen a string of deadly shootings, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in Wednesday.

 

Sweden's murder rate is relatively low in international terms, but gang violence has surged in recent years and Swedes are worried that the police are unable to cope.

 

In 2016, the latest year for which official statistics are available, 106 people were murdered in Sweden, a country of 10 million.

 

But Swedish TV reported there were over 300 shootings, mostly in turf battles between gangs over drugs, protection rackets and prostitution.

 

Four people were shot dead in the first week of this year. One man died after picking up a hand grenade outside a subway station in a suburb of Stockholm.

 

Law and order is likely to be a major issue in a parliamentary election scheduled for September with the populist, opposition Sweden Democrats linking public concern about the rising crime rate to a large increase in the numbers of immigrants.

 

"It would not be my first option to bring in the military, but I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to make sure that serious, organised crime is stamped out," Lofven told news agency TT.

 

The government has promised police an extra 7.1 billion crowns ($880 million) through 2020, toughened laws on gun crimes and made it easier for the police to monitor private phone calls and emails, among other measures.

 

But a report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention shows increasing numbers of Swedes worried about crime with confidence falling in the police and the judicial system.

 

"People are shot to death in pizza restaurants, people are killed by hand grenades they find on the street," Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson said in parliament on Wednesday.

 

"This is the new Sweden; the new, exciting dynamic, multicultural paradise that so many here in this assembly ... have fought to create for so many years," he said sarcastically.

 

($1 = 8.0577 Swedish crowns)

 

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Richard Balmforth)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-01-19
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19 minutes ago, DLang said:

Perhaps they could also send in the army to the 60+ No Go Zones that immigrants have created, where police and locals are not allowed to go into without being assaulted or worse. 

Are these "no-go" zones anything like the ones in the Netherlands? I have heard from Ambassador Pete Hoekstra that there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt… there are no-go zones in the Netherlands. Do you know if the Swedish "no-go" zones are the same as the ones Ambassador Hoekstra described in Netherlands?

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15 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

I am at a loss how the army can solve this, unless he envisages a permanent Northern Ireland troubles presence in every city troubled by gang violence, and do they even have the resources to do so? That would take a lot of soldiers to do.

If he's talking about a "lightning strike" operation, using the military, is he prepared for a lot of ''collateral damage"?

By definition soldiers are trained to kill people, not police actions.

 

Seems to me like a politician speaking about things he thinks will sound good in the media, but are in reality a nonsense, like Blair sending a tank to Heathrow when there was a terrorist attack there.

Since the Swedish army has really only been involved in Peace-keeping efforts in living memory I doubt they are trained the way you envision. Policing and interaction skills would necessarily be part of their arsenal.

Edited by mikebike
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16 minutes ago, mikebike said:

Are these "no-go" zones anything like the ones in the Netherlands? I have heard from Ambassador Pete Hoekstra that there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt… there are no-go zones in the Netherlands. Do you know if the Swedish "no-go" zones are the same as the ones Ambassador Hoekstra described in Netherlands?

Fake news,he already has apologized for that statement.

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14 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

I am at a loss how the army can solve this, unless he envisages a permanent Northern Ireland troubles presence in every city troubled by gang violence, and do they even have the resources to do so? That would take a lot of soldiers to do.

If he's talking about a "lightning strike" operation, using the military, is he prepared for a lot of ''collateral damage"?

By definition soldiers are trained to kill people, not police actions.

 

Seems to me like a politician speaking about things he thinks will sound good in the media, but are in reality a nonsense, like Blair sending a tank to Heathrow when there was a terrorist attack there.

 

I assume he is talking about small special forces units or military police, not mechanized infantry divisions or anything of the sort. 

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1 minute ago, jvs said:

Fake news,he already has apologized for that statement.

Which part is "fake"? The fact that he said it certainly isn't. The fact that he was forced to apologize by a tenaciously dogged media after lying and saying he never said it? Nope that's true too. Or does the "fake" part in your post apply to the dog-whistling of no-go zones in Sweden?

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1 minute ago, mikebike said:

Which part is "fake"? The fact that he said it certainly isn't. The fact that he was forced to apologize by a tenaciously dogged media after lying and saying he never said it? Nope that's true too. Or does the "fake" part in your post apply to the dog-whistling of no-go zones in Sweden?

He did day that,but what he said was untrue.There are no 'No go' zones in the Netherlands where cars and politicians are being burned.At least not yet.

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12 minutes ago, mikebike said:

Since the Swedish army has really only been involved in Peace-keeping efforts in living memory I doubt they are trained the way you envision. Policing and interaction skills would necessarily be part of their arsenal.

Ah, so not a real army then.

I have nothing against peacekeepers, but I think calling them soldiers is erroneous.

The soldiers I knew only used bullets, not talk, but that was a very long time ago.

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11 minutes ago, freethinker said:

 

I assume he is talking about small special forces units or military police, not mechanized infantry divisions or anything of the sort. 

I agree, but soldiers are not policemen, so what will be the rules of engagement, and will martial law be declared?

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4 minutes ago, jvs said:

He did day that,but what he said was untrue.There are no 'No go' zones in the Netherlands where cars and politicians are being burned.At least not yet.

Give it time, give it time.

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