Swedish police say they will send another 180 police officers to Stockholm in an attempt to combat violence and organized crime.
Dozens of police personnel will be temporarily moved to the Swedish capital for six months as part of the plans.
The Swedish police authority said that the move will help “meet the challenges of serious violent crime” in Stockholm.
The Stockholm Police Region has already been heavily burdened by many investigations and operational work on serious violent crime linked to criminal environments and vulnerable areas. statement read.
Although additional resources had already been deployed on the city streets, police said the situation is “still very tense”.
Another 180 investigators, analysts, intervention officers and technicians will start supporting the police in Stockholm from 17 January.
“One of the strengths of being a Swedish police force is that we can move resources … where the needs are greatest,” says Johan Olsson, head of Sweden’s National Operations Department (NOA).
“Now Stockholm needs additional resources to meet the challenging situation there,” Olsson added.
Sweden has seen an increase in violent crime and gang-related crime in large cities. According to police figures, at least 44 people have died in shooting incidents so far this year.
In October, the award-winning rapper Einar was shot dead in southern Stockholm, in what the police suspect may have been a gang-related incident.
Four months earlier, a 17-year-old boy fatally injured a police officer in Gothenburg – the first time an active police officer was shot dead in Sweden in 14 years.
The Swedish government has recently said that it would consider extending national security laws so that the police can spy on suspected gangs and access mobile phone data.
Authorities hope that this “major transfer” of police resources will help reduce similar cases of violent crime.
– The decision to temporarily relocate police to Stockholm will increase our ability to break the ongoing circle of gun violence, says Mats Löfving, regional police chief in Stockholm.
“The long-term goal is to reduce the number of vulnerable areas and criminal networks in the region.”
On Thursday, the Stockholm police also arrested six people and confiscated a number of weapons after searching 20 homes and vehicles.
The detainees are now charged with preparation for murder, aggravated weapon crime and aggravated drug offense, according to a statement.
– For a few years now, a conflict has been going on over the drug market between two criminal groups in an area in Stockholm’s northern police district, says Andreas Franke at the Stockholm Regional Investigation Unit.
“These seizures and arrests are an important part of reducing the supply of weapons and drugs and the criminal networks in the region.”