Grenade explosions in various buildings, burning cars, drug trafficking and blackmail actions … All this fuels the various pages of Swedish newspapers. “Have you seen the movie The Godfather?” AFP journalist Johanna Backstrom Lerneby, the author of a book about one of Sweden’s most famous criminal families, asked AFP. “Then you know what it’s about,” she added.
Several people with links to the clan investigated by the journalist in her book “La famiglia” came to the fore in August due to a conflict with a rival gang. Taking the place of the police, the two rival groups allowed themselves to install improvised roadblocks, stop cars and identify passers-by.
“It is a poison in our society and we must get rid of it,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven acknowledged.
According to Swedish Police Deputy Chief Mats Lofving, there are “at least 40 family criminal gangs” in his country.
These “family gangs” exert considerable influence, especially in the slums of large cities, without the government or the police being able to really oppose them, according to various experts.
According to the Swedish official, these families came to the kingdom exclusively for the purpose of committing crimes, bringing with them their parallel systems and having influence especially in the neighborhoods inhabited mostly by immigrants.
Adhering to a generous immigration policy from the 1990s until 2016, Sweden is currently facing difficulties in integrating tens of thousands of immigrants into a highly skilled labor market. And he has some sad news. During the first half of this year, 20 people were killed in 163 shootings in this country of 10.3 million people, according to police. In 2019, 42 people lost their lives in 334 such incidents.
In the face of this scourge, the police have set themselves the goal of increasing their presence in certain neighborhoods. At the end of last year, the Swedish government adopted a series of measures, in particular giving more supervisory power to the police and introducing more severe penalties for drug and weapons crimes. However, the problems persist. “We work intensively, 24 hours a day, but despite this, there is still significant violence,” said National Police Chief Anders Thornberg in late August.