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CRIME

Boy remanded for murder of 19-year-old

On Friday, Ystad district court remanded a 15-year-old boy suspected of murdering a 19-year-old female relative with probable cause. The young woman was found dead at her family farm near Sjöbo in southern Sweden at the beginning of August.

Police are looking iat several firearms as the potential murder weapon in their investigation.

Prosecutor Bengt Åsbäck cited August 2nd or 3rd as the date of the murder. The 15-year-old denied the charges and protested the basis of the remand.

On Thursday, police revealed the woman was shot and the weapon was confiscated from the farm, where the woman’s body was discovered and where the crime occurred.

“There are several weapons, but investigators do not want to say how many,” Lars-Håkan Lindholm, information officer for the Skåne police, told the TT news agency.

He did not reveal whether the incident involved a rifle or a handgun.

The weapons were found at the farm near Sjöbo and police are now investigating why they were there and how they had been stored.

Police have been reluctant to share details about what led them to raise the charges against the 15-year-old from murder on justifiable grounds, the lowest degree of suspicion, when he was first arrested to probable cause, the higher level of suspicion.

Several pieces of evidence were found at the farm.

“The results of the analysis of several of the pieces of evidence have begun to come back. We have also questioned several people during the investigation, both neighbours and family members. People have also called in with information,” Lindholm said.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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