Johan Ahlander, Reuters, July 1, 2021
Swedish caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Lofven expressed outrage on Thursday over the killing of an on-duty police officer, a rarity in the Nordic country, calling it an “attack on our open society” amid growing concerns over gang violence.
The police officer in his 30s was shot and killed late on Wednesday while on duty in Biskopsgarden, a Gothenburg suburb that has been plagued by gang violence in recent years and where police have had an increased presence.
The crime has shocked a country where fatal attacks on police officers are rare, with three killed in the last 20 years, including Wednesday’s victim.
Experts disagree over the causes of Sweden’s gang problem, citing lax laws, segregated urban areas, immigration and an increased drug trade.
A report published this year by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, said Sweden had among the highest levels of fatal shootings in 22 European countries and that no other country had seen as swift an increase as Sweden.