Swedish National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson has begged the government for help as the number of no-go zones has risen from 55 to 61 in only one year.
“Help us, help us,” Eliasson said at a press conference on the subject of the rising levels of crime and criminal networks in Sweden. Eliasson said there were at least 5,000 criminals divided into around 200 networks in Sweden operating in the now 61 no-go zones, many of which are heavily migrant-populated, Göteborgs-Posten reports.
Police have said that they are monitoring 61 “no-go zones” but say that 23 of them are particularly vulnerable. Tynnered, a suburb in Gothenburg, is a new addition to the list after cases of car burnings and shootings, the most recent of which occurred earlier this month.
Eliasson warned if the trend persists and crime continues to increase then the social contract could break down in Sweden – though he does not believe Sweden was beyond repair. “Should we want the social contract to hold, people will have to want to pay taxes and participate in society. It must not go any further, we must reverse the trend.”
Though the Swedish interior ministry has promised to hire more police officers, many Swedish police departments are facing an exodus of officers, especially in no-go areas.
According to one report published last year, 80 per cent of Swedish police are considering leaving the force due to issues ranging from violence against them in no-go areas to lack of holiday time and poor funding.
The lack of staff has forced the last remaining police station in Kista, a suburb of Stockholm, to close. Terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp said the closure was a “disaster” and called for more police stations to be opened in the area instead.
In Rinkeby, one of the most infamous no-go areas in Stockholm, authorities have tried to build a new police station that some have likened to a fortress. Due to safety issues in the area, the government has been unable to secure a building contractor to complete the station as many fear being attacked.
Despite the fact the Swedish government refuses to keep statistics on the national origin of suspects, many in Sweden have suspected that migrants make up a large proportion of criminals. The suspicion was confirmed earlier this year when police officer Peter Springare wrote on Facebook that the vast majority of criminal cases that crossed his desk were committed by migrants.
Researcher Johan Patrik Engellau has predicted the situation in Sweden could be far worse than government officials are willing to admit.
In an article earlier this year, he wrote: “I’m afraid it is the end for the well-organised, decent, and egalitarian Sweden we have known up to now. Personally, I would not be surprised if a form of civil war occurs. In some places, the civil war has probably already begun.“