MIGRANT youth gangs have turned Sweden’s largest shopping centre into a “no-go zone” as they intimidate police, harass girls and deal drugs openly.
Gothenburg police have been forced implement extraordinary measures to cope with the increased number of incidents, which have left shoppers and business owners terrified of their workplace.Nordstan is Sweden’s largest shopping centre in terms of sales and number of visitors, however once the shops close at 8pm, criminal youth gangs take over despite officers turning out in force.
Jonas Bergqvist, one of the team managers of the city police, told Expressen: “We have seen an increase since last autumn, with mostly unaccompanied minors who are staying here in North Town.
“In the evening they deal drugs and violence between fractions sometimes occur. If there are conflicts from their home countries, they bring them here.”
While his colleague Rikard Sorensen added the thugs was experiencing increasing levels of increasingly more aggressive toward police.He said: “There is a lot of drugs circulating. I wouldn’t even let my son go down to North Town.
“There is a risk of robbery, but also harassment of girls.”
The shopping centre has become a central hub for youngsters to meet and despite Swedish teenagers also engaging in some of the incidents, the officials argued lone migrants from Afghanistan and Syria, in addition to Moroccan street children, were behind the drastic increase.
Just days after the busy centre was forced to close early on New Year’s Eve as thugs threatened to set off fireworks inside the building, around 150 teenagers also surrounded and threatened police officers, Mr Bergqvist said.
“There was an incident at Nordstadstorget and some policemen were surrounded by a large number of young people and they experienced the situation as threatening and called for reinforcements,” he revealed.
Other incidents at the shopping centre, which is located in south-west Sweden, include a teenager being robbed while a broken glass bottle was held to his throat, and a shopkeeper being threatened after he tried to stop thugs from stealing.
Mr Sorensen condemned the situation as he made a clear dig at the liberal country’s immigration policy, as many for the foreign youths wreaking havoc lacked identification papers.
Explaining the lack of documentation forced them to hand the detained vandals over to social services because they could not prove they were adults, the officer said it lead to the crooks being back on the streets within a short period of time.“I’ve had people in front of me that look like they are 35, but who claim to be 15. I can’t prove they’re lying so we have to release them,” Mr Sorensen said.
The admission that Nordstan has become a lawless hotspot comes as Swedish police last year issued a report where it detailed incidents from more than 55 areas which it branded as “no-go zones”.
It detailed brutal attacks on police, sexual assaults, children carrying weapons and general turmoil sweeping across the country.
Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, has been embroiled in chaos as arsonists have torched cars across the city and on New Year’s Eve it was branded a “war zone” as police admitted they did not have control.
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