Armed forces, police to jointly combat gang violence in Sweden: PM

by IANS |

Stockholm, Sep 30 (IANS) The Swedish Armed Forces have been called in to help the police combat a recent surge in organized crime, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told reporters here.

The armed forces are well-equipped to handle explosives and IT forensics, and to organise helicopter transports and they also have extensive analytical skills which makes them competent to assess risk scenarios, Kristersson said.

The National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), a civil authority subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, will also be tasked with assisting the police with signals intelligence, Xinhua news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

"We have increased their funding to enable them to intensify their signals intelligence operations with regards to cross-border serious crime," Kristersson said.

Legislation that allows preventative wiretapping to stop shootings, bombings and other crimes related to organized crime before they are committed will come into effect on Sunday, following a decision made earlier this year.

Kristersson also said that the decision to allow the police forces to request assistance from the Armed Forces is merely a first step, and the police will be given further powers.

In a 2020 study that analyzed criminal activities in 23 European countries, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention found that between 2000 and 2019, Sweden had moved from having the lowest number of shootings to having the highest number of incidents.

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