The number of “vulnerable areas” in Sweden has increased by eight – up from 15 two years ago, which means a rise of more than 50 percent. Despite greater resources, Swedish law enforcement agencies are unable to halt the spreading of gangs, extremism, and lawlessness in many new urban districts, turning them into virtual no-go zones.
The Swedish newspaper “Dagens Nyheter” (paywall) managed to obtain the classified information, daily Aftonbladet reports. According to the secret study performed by the National Operations Department (NOA), the new vulnerable areas are Norrby and Hässleholmen (in Boras), Tynnered, Grevgården, and Opaltorget (in Gothenburg), Karlslund (Landskrona), Nydala, Hermodsdal, and Lindängen (Malmo), Fittja and Alby (Stockholm), and Gottsunda in the city of Uppsala.
They have now joined ranks with Sweden’s most notorious urban districts such as Rinkeby, in Stockholm, and the Malmo-precinct called Rosengard (the Rose Garden). These neighbourhoods contain the following characteristics, the report concludes:
There exist parallel structures of society, police experience difficulties in fulfilling its mission, which is partly due to an unwillingness of the population to participate in legal proceedings, proximity to other vulnerable areas, and violent religious (i.e. ‘Islamic’) extremism is rife.
Following the leak, Linda Staaf, who heads the national police NOA’s intelligence department, told DN that:
“some of these areas should have been classified as especially vulnerable in the previous report in 2015, but that the police had then not collected enough information to properly assess the situation there. In comparison to the last report, we now have more knowledge and a better picture,“
According to NOA’s research, many citizens of the – usually migrant-dominated – neighbourhoods won’t talk to police, because they fear reprisals by gang members or because they think nothing will be done anyway.
Last year, police initiated Operation Sea-fire as part of the struggle to cope with the criminal gangs. More officers were deployed to the streets, in addition to projects consisting of video surveillance and wearable cameras. Furthermore, the government recently increased penalties for criminal attacks involving grenades, that are often used by Somali-born criminals against rivals.
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