Sweden to crack down on gang crime with tougher sentences for young people

The Swedish Justice Minister announced that he is pushing for tougher sentences for young offenders in a bid to combat a rising wave of gang violence.

Sweden to crack down on gang crime with tougher sentences for young people
Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Ali Lorestani/TT

The government will seek parliamentary approval to abolish the automatic reduction of sentences for defendants aged 18-20 convicted of serious crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, rape, armed robbery and gun crime, said Justice Minister Morgan Johansson.

“It’s better to try to target the crimes committed by those who do these crimes in a systematic way and live a criminal lifestyle,” Johansson told a press conference.

Sweden has been struggling for several years to deal with the rise of criminal gangs and the resulting increase in fatal shootings and score-settling in an otherwise peaceful country.

Sweden has the highest number of deadly shootings per capita in a report about European countries published in May by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

In 2020, the country of just over 10 million people registered more than 360 incidents involving firearms, with 47 deaths and 117 injuries. Most of the victims and perpetrators were under the age of 30.

In the latest such incident, two children, aged five and six, were wounded by stray bullets while playing in the neighbourhood of Visättra in southern Stockholm over the weekend in what is believed to have been a gang-related shooting.

In early July, a police officer was killed in a shooting in Gothenburg, although he was not believed to have been the intended target.

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Swedish woman fined 13,800 for handing in lost 500 kronor banknote late

A woman in Sweden handed in a 500 kronor banknote to the police. But instead of being rewarded for her honesty, she was slapped with a fine of 13,800 kronor.

Swedish woman fined 13,800 for handing in lost 500 kronor banknote late

Regional public radio broadcaster P4 Jönköping reports that the woman was fined because she had waited too long to hand in the banknote – a month and a half.

The prosecutor accused her of fyndförseelse – failure to return lost property.

She now has to pay 30 day fines, which amounts to a total of 13,800 kronor.

“You may think it’s unreasonably expensive for the person who is suspected of the crime, but it results in day fines,” newswire TT quotes a police officer as telling P4.

A person who finds lost property has to hand it in to the police in Sweden “without undue delay”, according to the law on lost and found property. The law doesn’t explicitly state what that means, but a delay of around a week is usually seen as reasonable.

If police cannot locate the owner of the lost property within three months, the finder gets to keep it.

500 kronor is worth around $46 according to current exchange rates.