U.S. experts in Sweden to help tackle gun crime: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-18 02:26:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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STOCKHOLM, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. experts were in Sweden on Tuesday to assist Stockholm police tackle gun crime in the city, Swedish news SVT reported.

In an effort to stop escalating gun violence, Stockholm police are now collaborating with experts from the New Jersey police force and Rutgers University. The collaboration will focus primarily on new methods for carrying out ballistics investigations.

"We can conclude that we have a very serious conflict situation. What we are working on in the short term is to get the weapons off the street, every weapon counted," Stockholm's Regional Chief of Police, Ulf Johansson, said at a press conference held in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Between January and August 2019, over 185 shootings occurred in Sweden, killing a total of 28 people, according to an SVT report of Swedish Police statistics.

Gun violence has been escalating markedly since 2017, prompting the Swedish government and Stockholm police to step up efforts to arrest the trend.

Rick Fuentes, former Chief of the New Jersey State Police, now working for Rutgers University, told the audience at Tuesday's press conference that it previously took forensics ten months from the time they seized a weapon at a crime scene until they could complete photographs, fingerprints, DNA and ballistics.

"Once that information reached the police investigator, it had no significance whatsoever for pursuing the person who fired the shot," said Fuentes.

Now, simple changes in administrative protocols have reduced processing time to just 48 hours.

"The people that are investigating these crimes on the street are very good at what they do. What we're doing is giving them more tools to do it," Fuentes told SVT.

According to Fuentes, procedural changes have reduced shooting deaths in the most hard-hit New Jersey cities by as much as 30 percent, and he hopes that this success can now be replicated in Stockholm.

"Every time you get information that can help you solve a crime within two days instead of ten months, it's going to be a win. When it comes to firearm violence, this will definitely help the Swedish police work faster," Fuentes told SVT.