The failure of the authorities to integrate the immigrants the country has received in recent years has led to the formation of parallel societies
Sweden is facing a crisis with the integration of a large number of immigrants that have flooded the country in recent years. Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson said on April 28 that the integration of immigrants has failed, fueling gang crimes in the Scandinavian country. To tackle the problem, the Swedish PM announced a series of initiatives to control rising organized crimes in the country.
The announcement came after violent riots in Sweden left over 100 police officers injured. As per reports, the riots erupted in the country after a Swedish-Danish politician burnt a copy of the Muslim holy book Quran at a rally and suggested similar burning would talk place in immigrant-dominated neighborhoods.
The failure of the authorities to integrate the immigrants the country has received in recent years has led to the formation of parallel societies. Gang violence is much more prevalent in the country now compared to other European countries, data suggests.
Blaming criminals for the law and order situation, PM Andersson said extremism on both sides, i.e. Islamic and right-wing, was allowed to grow in Sweden. She said, “Segregation has been allowed to go so far that we have parallel societies in Sweden. We live in the same country but in completely different realities.”
The population of people who have been born abroad in the past two decades stands at 2 million, which is one-fifth of the total population. She said, “Integration has been too poor at the time when we have had large immigration. Society has been too weak, resources for the police and social services have been too weak.” Notably, her party Social Democrats has been in power for 28 out of the last 40 years. Since 2014, the party has been ruling the nation.
The rising number of gun violence in Sweden
According to a report by The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention released in 2021 [PDF English Summery], the country, which was once considered one of the safest countries in the world, now stands at the number one position in Europe in terms of fatal shootings. Notably, in the early 2000s, Sweden had the best crime stats in the region. However, by 2019, it reported maximum shootings in Europe.
The report stated, “As regards the level of gun homicide, the rate in Sweden ranks very high in relation to other European countries, at approximately 4 deaths per million inhabitants per year. The average for Europe is approximately 1.6 per million inhabitants.”
As per reports, the authorities have identified 60 “vulnerable areas” in Sweden. Mostly inhabited by immigrants, the unemployment rates and crimes are higher in these areas compared to other regions in Sweden. With only 5.4% of the population, 50% of shooting incidents took place in these areas. The study suggested that most homicides in 2020 took place in these so-called vulnerable areas.
Since 2020, many high-profile killings have taken place, as a result, Deputy National Police Chief Mats Löfving had to issue a statement where he pointed out that 40 migrant clans are operating in Sweden and held them responsible for the violence.
He said, “These clans have come to Sweden solely to organized crime. They work to create power, they have a great capacity for violence, and they want to make money. And they do that through drug crimes, violent crimes, and extortion.”
Sweden is scheduled to hold general elections in late 2022. In recent times, the country has tried to make its immigration policies strict. As a result, the dubious Human Rights Organization Amnesty International criticized Sweden and claimed that the tightening of the policies was causing human suffering and made integration harder for the immigrants.