Open drug markets, vulnerable neighbourhoods and gun violence in two Swedish cities
Gun violence is a serious issue in many countries across the globe. It has been shown that there is an elevated risk for a further shooting nearby within a short time span of a shooting incident, so-called near-repeat patterning. The present study presents new evidence on near-repeat patterning in Sweden, with a focus on neighbourhoods which the police have labelled as ‘vulnerable’ – deprived neighbourhoods where criminal networks have a large impact on local communities. Such neighbourhoods tend to have open drug markets, and to have high levels of gun violence. The present paper analyses the association of open drug markets and vulnerable neighbourhoods with gun violence and near-repeat patterning of gun violence in two Swedish cities. Our findings suggest that gun violence is strongly concentrated on open drug markets in vulnerable neighbourhoods, and that those locations in addition exhibit high risks for repeat shootings after an initial shooting event. We propose that the police can use this knowledge to improve practices to prevent or disrupt gun violence.