Denmark is temporarily restoring border controls with Sweden following a series of gang land shootings and explosions around Copenhagen which, according to the Danish authorities, were committed by Swedes.
The controls, which began on Tuesday and will last initially six months, will be imposed on the Oresund Bridge between Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö, as well as in several ports.
Lene Frank, of the Danish National Police, said there will be random and periodic checks of people crossing the border and that agents will focus “in particular on cross-border crime involving explosives, weapons and drugs.”
The Danish passport checks come as its neighbour has been rocked by more than 100 explosions in the first 10 months of the year, which have blamed on warring gangs.
On Saturday, a 15-year-old boy was shot dead and another teenager was seriously injured in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, just across the street from Copenhagen.
The shooting took place just minutes after an explosion in another Malmö neighbourhood where a car bomb exploded, destroying the car and damaging other cars. Police said Monday that the explosion could have been a diversion from the murder.
Referring to the unprecedented wave of bombings, often carried out using grenades from the former Yugoslavia, Swedish Police Chief Thornberg said “We see nothing comparable internationally,” adding that “it seems as if the revenge campaigns of the criminals are getting closer and closer to the public.”
In August, the girlfriend of a former gangster was killed in broad daylight on a busy street in Malmö. The victim was a young doctor, holding her baby in her arms when the killers shot her several times in the head.
In neighbouring Denmark there have been 13 explosions in and around Copenhagen since February, including the bombing in August of the tax agency, which the authorities blamed on “criminals who had crossed the border from Sweden”.
The Swedish government has announced a 34-point plan to combat the violence, including measures making it easier for police to search suspects’ homes and read encrypted phone messages, reports the Guardian.
In Denmark too they are tightening up security, bringing in more CCTV in public places, increasing the monitoring of known criminals and introducing heavier punishments for the illegal use and possession of explosives.