Wed, 29 Sep 2021

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Sweden is weighing the expansion of the country's police powers to allow spying on suspected gangs, as the country seeks to combat rising gun violence.

There have been more than 26 deaths this year due to gun violence. In recent years, Sweden has gone from having among the lowest levels of violence in Europe, to one of the highest.

Also, gun violence has become an important political issue in Sweden.

"We want to look at the possibility of giving the police authority another key tool for preventing new shootings. We will do everything in our power to fight these gangs," said Interior Minister Mikael Damberg, as quoted by Reuters.

A Swedish commission is preparing to look at measures, including the expansion of secret, preventative surveillance of suspects, currently only allowed in cases related to national security.

Also, punishments have been increased for crimes, including weapons possession.

A growing gang culture in Sweden's major cities has resulted in a surge in deadly shootings.

Shooting deaths began to increase in the mid-2000s, according to a by Sweden's National Council for Crime Prevention.

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