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Shootings, Stabbings and Sound Bombs: Violent Crime in Sweden

Statistics and information correct as of 14th April 2019. 

Sweden witnessed a steep increase in gun violence in recent years with the majority of incidents related to organised crime or gang warfare and concentrated in less affluent neighbourhoods with a high immigrant population. The city with the highest prevalence of shootings historically was Malmö, although in 2018 and 2019 our statistics highlight a marked increase in shootings in Stockholm and the surrounding suburbs.

A map showing the sngle shooting incident in Gothenburg in 2019 so far.

Incidents of gun crime in Gothenburg since the beginning on 2019 to date. 

Gothenburg, however, has shown a significant reduction in shooting incidents in 2019. According to Intelligence Fusion’s records the city saw 31 reported shootings in 2018 compared to only one incident in the locality by mid-April 2019.

This may be illustrative of the pro-active police approach of combining community engagement in areas with historically high concentrations of gang related activity and violence, such as Biskopsgården, along with increased patrolling and surveillance. Widespread camera surveillance initially placed in the neighbourhood in December 2016 has seen long term positive results. Active policing coupled with effective community engagement and muscular police leadership has led to an increased effectiveness in the Gothenburg area with incidents of other criminality reduced.

Police Chief, Erik Nord, has also led actions against organised crime in the region working with local businesses to try to prevent acts of intimidation or extortion. This has also worked to reduce shootings in the locality. Ironically, a spike in stabbings within the city in 2019, may illustrate the effectiveness of police in reducing gun violence and compelling criminals to use knives although it is unclear if these incidents were gang related.

A map highlighting the incidents of gun crime in Malmo in 2019 so far

Incidents of gun crime in Malmö since the beginning on 2019 to date.

Malmö has witnessed a reduction in shooting incidents with five reported incidents so far in 2019 compared with 48 shootings in 2018.

A decrease in sex attacks has also occurred, which on the surface may indicate a success to the “Sluta Skjut” or “Stop Shooting” scheme introduced in late 2018. However, Intelligence Fusion has witnessed a growing trend of more powerful IED devices being used in the city as part of an ongoing gang war centred around local businesses such as taxi services and restaurants typically centred in the Rosengård locality.

Incidents of explosions, IED detonations and firecrackers throughout the city of Malmo in 2019 to date

IED related incidents across the city of Malmö since the beginning of 2019 to date.

In 2018, we recorded 38 incidents related to explosive devices being detonated in the city although the majority were firecrackers or sound bombs such as Cobra 8 devices designed to deter and intimidate rather than cause large scale destruction. The concerning trend for 2019, is that although devices are fewer in number they appear to have increased in lethality.

Map showing the locations of gun crime throughout Stockholm since January 2019 Incidents of gun crime in Stockholm since the beginning on 2019 to date.

The Stockholm area has by far witnessed the majority of shooting incidents within Sweden in 2019 with a total of 16 incidents reported to date. In 2018, 64 shootings were reported.

It appears that unlike Gothenburg, conflict between organised gangs in the Stockholm area has not yet been successfully tackled by police. Indeed, citizens in Sätra have already expressed a concern that local security has deteriorated in recent months. Swedish criminal gangs expert Gunnar Appelgren has stated that recent killings in Sätra could be the beginning of a new wave of shootings and escalation of violence.

The Stockholm Public Transport Security and Safety Budget has nearly doubled since 2014. One of the reasons cited for the increase is the need for private security due to a lack of effective police presence to maintain passenger safety.


With the onset of the summer months, Sweden is likely to see an increase in general criminality within the main cities as the improved weather gives greater freedom of movement to criminal groups. Outside of organised crime, it’s expected that potential arson attacks on vehicles and sex attacks in public areas such as at music festivals will increase as was witnessed in 2018.

Since 2016 when Intelligence Fusion began monitoring the threats in Sweden we have identified a significant number of criminal trends and patterns as well as new security developments.

If you’d like full access to over 7,000 incidents across Sweden, contact a member of the Intelligence Fusion team for your free demonstration of our data.

PLEASE NOTE: ‘Murder’ incidents, such as body finds, have not been included in the statistics. In some cases analysts were unable to discern whether the victims were lethally shot due to a lack of information disclosure by authorities or media. 


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