In the video, officer Christoffer Bohman described a recent incident in which “two young boys” stole pastries from a grocery store in Kista, a suburb north of Stockholm city centre. When followed out by staff who confronted them, one of the boys produced a gun.
“Do we understand, really, how sick this behaviour is, or has it become normalized?” asked Bohman, who works in Stockholm's Järva area, in the video. By Thursday afternoon, his appeal had been viewed more than 1.7 million times.
“I feel that these young men have gone completely astray in terms of the relationships they have with each other, in macho culture, in their own fears. And combined with having a weapon, they become extremely dangerous,” he explained.
Bohman emphasized that police were investing “enormous resources, and enormous effort” in reducing weapons crime, and added that one of the boys had since been caught, but said “we aren't enough”.
He called on residents to inform police if they were aware of anyone who owned a weapon, in order to get guns off Stockholm's streets.
“That person is living in danger,” he said, highlighting that people with access to weapons are likely already living in danger and involved in crime.
Speaking to The Local in December last year, Bohman said: “Every person, no matter where they live in Sweden, has the same right to be safe. But in order to get there, in order for it to be a safe place for everyone, everyone needs to help.”
Sweden succeeded in removing almost 10,000 guns from the streets during a three-month amnesty last year. And in Malmö, local police have tried meeting with known gang members in an effort to tackle the deadly gun violence in the southern city, and to assist them out of the criminal world.
Shootings in Malmö left 14 dead and 28 wounded over the course of 2018, while in Stockholm there were nine deaths due to gun violence and across the whole country 45 people died due to shootings, two more than in the previous year.