8 in 10 Swedes Support Deploying Military Against Gangland Crime

Europe

Sweden has recently seen a unique uptick in violent crime and has in a matter of several decades moved from the bottom to the top in the EU statistics for fatal shootings each year, clearly going against the overall tendency towards less violence.

An overwhelming majority of Swedes support the recent proposal aired by the liberal-conservative Moderate Party to task the military with assisting the police in combatting violent crime.

As many as 78 percent of respondents in a recent study by the Gothenburg-based SOM Institute argued that this was a worthy application of military force. Wholly 54 percent called it a “very important task” for the Armed Forces to assist the police in efforts against serious crime, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported.

Since the operation in Ådalen in 1931, when five striking workers were shot dead by the military under police command, cooperation between the police and the military has been a sensitive issue in Sweden. As of now, it is also prohibited under the Ordinance on the Armed Forces’ support for civilian activities.

However, the survey revealed that military assistance to the police has much greater support among the population than some of the tasks the Armed Forces are engaged in today.

For instance, merely 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively, believe that it is a very important task for the Armed Forces to participate in UN peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid operations in other…

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