Stockholm sees spike in gun deaths – but Malmö and Gothenburg go months without fatal shootings

Almost as many people as last year have been shot dead in Stockholm so far this year, according to police. Meanwhile, other cities in Sweden are showing a more positive trend.

Stockholm sees spike in gun deaths – but Malmö and Gothenburg go months without fatal shootings
Police investigate a deadly shooting in Sätra south of Stockholm in April. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Neither of Sweden's two other big cities, Malmö and Gothenburg, has experienced any deadly shootings this year, according to a report by Swedish public radio's news programme Ekot, based on police figures.

But Stockholm is just two fatalities away from being at the same level as last year, with nine people shot dead in the region in the first five months of the year, compared to 11 such gun deaths in 2018.

Police told Ekot that they have seen an unusually high number of shootings in the Swedish capital region this year, more than 30 altogether, a result of various gang conflicts coming to a head.

“The situation we're seeing is that we have conflicts between various networks or groups and they are continuing to create violence,” said Christoffer Boman, local police chief for the Rinkeby area in Stockholm.


Malmö in southern Sweden, a city that has developed a reputation for a high level of gang crime, has had no gun deaths this year, and remarkably few shootings – for example none at all in the month of March.

This news, reported by The Local at the time, came in contrast to 2018, which was the deadliest year to date in the city's gang conflicts, with 12 people shot dead, compared to 10 people in 2017.

Manne Gerell, Associate Professor of Criminology at Malmö University, then told The Local that it was too early to tell whether Malmö was at a turning point. 

“Obviously it's good to see that there are no shootings at the moment, but it's a bit too soon to put any interpretations on it,” he said.

He said, however, that the police's Stop Shooting or Sluta Skjut programme might have played a role in declining rates of gun violence. 

“It's certainly possible. That programme has produced reductions in gun violence in other cities where it's been tested,” he said. “But it could just be coincidence, or it could be having more people in prison, finally.”

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Sweden’s ‘snippa’ rape case to go to the High Court

When Sweden's appeals court threw out a guilty verdict in a child rape case over the meaning of 'snippa', a child's word for a vagina, it caused a scandal in Sweden. Now, the Swedish Supreme Court wants to hear from the Court of Appeals about its decision.  

Sweden's 'snippa' rape case to go to the High Court

Attorney General Petra Lundh criticised the appeals court for “a number of serious miscarriages of justice” in the way it dealt with the case. 

The man had been sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2021 after the district court heard how he, in the prosecutor’s words, had “by sticking his hand inside the plaintiff’s shorts and underwear, holding his hand on the the girl’s ‘snippa’ and having a finger inside her ‘snippa’, performed a sexual act” on her. 

The girl’s testimony was found to be credible, in part because she had told her mother about the incident on their way home.

But in February this year, the appeals court threw out the conviction, arguing that it was unclear what the girl means by the word snippa, a word taught to Swedish children to refer to female genitalia.

Despite agreeing with the district court that the man had touched the girl between her legs and inserted his finger into her snippa, the court found that it could not be determined whether the girl was referring to her vulva or to her vagina.

If the man had inserted his finger into her vagina, that would have met the standard to be classified as rape. Because the girl said that his finger was “far in”, but could not state exactly how far, the appeals court found that it could not establish beyond doubt that the man had inserted his finger in her vagina and not her the vulva.

Because no lower-grade charges, such as sexual abuse or molestation, had been filed against the man, the appeals court could not consider other offences.

This week, the Attorney General lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court against the appeal court’s decision. Now the Swedish Supreme Court has given the appeals court until April 12 to explain its decision-making in the case.

The Supreme Court has not decided whether it will hear an appeal against the decision to clear the man of rape charges.