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CRIME

Suspect arrested over fatal shooting of a police officer in Gothenburg

A person has been arrested on suspicion of killing a police officer in Biskopsgården in Gothenburg, regional police have said.

Suspect arrested over fatal shooting of a police officer in Gothenburg
A banner says 'All of Sweden mourns you, hero' at a memorial set up at the scene of the shooting. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

“We naturally feel a certain relief over having come this far in a short time,” regional police chief Klas Johansson told media.

The suspect was described as a local 17-year-old who was previously known to police and according to prosecutor Ulrika Åberg belonged to a “conflict environment”.

The boy is suspected of murder and attempted murder with probable cause, but denies all charges. Åberg said she believed there were “more plaintiffs” for the suspicion of attempted murder.

Police have said they do not believe the police officer, who was in his early 30s and relatively new to the profession, was the intended target of the shooting.

The entire police force in the region has worked in various ways with the investigation, and help has also come from across the country, according to the police chief of staff Teodor Smedius.

“We have received fantastic support from the whole of the Swedish police. Everyone wants to help us. We have received the help we have asked for. We have also received great support from other authorities,” he told the TT news agency.

“The residents in the area have been cooperative and tell us what they’ve seen,” said Smedius.

Police have been conducting interviews, door knocking and searching technical evidence as part of the investigation that has been going on since the fatal shooting.

“This has been a terrible experience for us internally. We have to manage a balancing act; to take care of our staff and understand how this affects us as individuals,” Smedius said.

“At the same time, we must continue to work with full force. It requires security and it takes courage. It’s in our organisation and it’s amazing, in this tragic event, to see.”

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  1. Is Sweden headed for a permanent underclass of Muslim immigrants who never feel they fit in similar to the situation in France?

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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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