EUROPOL has released a report warning that gangland violence, contract killings, and mob warfare are on the rise across Europe and is unlikely to subside.
Europol, a Netherlands-based body coordinating European police agencies, has warned that violence and killings connected to organised crime are on the rise across Europe and is unlikely to subside.
In a recent report titled Use of Violence by Organised Crime, Europol cited as examples recent spikes in gangland violence in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark to highlight the rise in contract killings and mob wars in Europe. The report said that most violence is connected to the cannabis and cocaine trade, and is often centred around port cities that serve as drug entry points to the continent.
The report claims that the cost of contract killings has been reduced by the increasing use of young and inexperienced hitmen to carry out “hits”. Depending on the circumstances and target, Europol estimates that it costs gangs between 10,000 and 100,000 euro to order a murder. While most contract killing victims are involved in crime, the report cited the assassination of Amsterdam lawyer Derek Wiersum in 2019 as an example of civilians losing their lives to ruthless gangs.
Europol also warned that the increasing availability of explosives and firearms has led to serious dangers for public safety, as assassinations often take place in crowded areas and are carried out by inexperienced hitmen. In August 2020, a 12-year old girl was killed by a stray bullet in a Stockholm suburb during an attempted gangland killing.
The policing group stressed the need for increased cooperation between European police forces to combat the rise in organised crime, warning that the “spike in serious violent acts” is “unlikely to decrease in the short term” future.
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