Explosive violence: A near-repeat study of hand grenade detonations and shootings in urban Sweden.
European Journal of Criminology. doi.org/10.1177/1477370818820656
Hand grenade attacks have increasingly been reported in Sweden. However, to date no research on the topic exists. The present study aims to describe the illegal use of hand grenades and to test its spatio-temporal relationship with gun violence to explore whether the two forms of violence are connected. Data were collected for the years 2011 to 2016 from the Swedish police and from open sources about hand grenade detonations, which were considered alongside shootings as two types of violence commonly attributed to criminal groups. Descriptive data and trends are presented and spatio-temporal analysis of near-repeat patterns was performed using a near-repeat calculator. All in all, there were 77 incidents of detonated hand grenades in Sweden during the six-year observation period, in which nine individuals were injured and one killed. The number of incidents increased, with about half of the them occurring during the last year. A near-repeat analysis was performed on shootings (N = 1048) and hand grenades (N = 55) in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. The shootings exhibit a strong component of near-repeat patterns, but adding hand grenades to the analysis did not strengthen the patterns, suggesting that the two types of violence only partially share spatio-temporal patterns. The study confirms an increase in the use of hand grenades in Sweden, although the reason for the increase is unknown. The increase does fit with the overall changing pattern in violence in urban areas in Sweden, which broadly tends to be attributed to criminal groups in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.