• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Boys, 10, 'try to sell sex' to morning commuters

Ann Törnkvist · 5 Mar 2014, 10:19

Published: 05 Mar 2014 10:19 GMT+01:00

Police were informed that three boys as young as ten were offering to sell their bodies to women in Norrköping.

A woman called the police on Tuesday after one of the boys approached her and offered to sell sex  The children then went on to approach other women arriving at the travel hub at around 9am, the woman told police.

"The worst case scenario is that we're looking at a suspect crime such as procurement (koppleri)," Östergötland County police spokesman Thomas Agnevik told The Local.

The boys had disappeared once the police arrived at the scene, but later in the day one of them was seen begging at another location. He was taken in by the police, but released and later that day made his way back to the transport hub Resecentrum to ask for money from passers-by. The police took him in a second time and turned him over to social services.

Social workers later handed the boy back to his parents.

"That boy has been spotted by himself twice, which is very serious," police duty officer Tor Sevelius told The Local on Wednesday.

He said that the number of incidents of begging had risen in Norrköping, but not until recently had they begun to receive reports of children out by themselves without an adult. The boy who ran into trouble twice on Wednesday was a Romanian citizen, the police confirmed.

The Tuesday morning phone call was the first report of young new arrivals trying to sell sex.

"These are children from other countries, they don't know the language, and they are very vulnerable," Sevelius said. 

He explained that Swedish police cannot interrogate children younger than 15, and they had not spoken informally with the boy before handing him over to social workers.

Social workers told the police that if the boy was found walking the streets alone again, the authorities may consider taking him into care. 

"The parents were told that it's not OK to let children walk around begging," said Agnevik. "Either we have a really bad situation where parents are sending out their kids to beg for money, or we have an even worse situation where they are out trying to sell sexual services."

The report of soliciting came from just the one witness, whom the police were trying to reach for further information on Wednesday morning. No further witnesses from the travel hub had come forward.

"We have no reason not to believe her, but as we don't have any further information at the moment the investigation is at a standstill," Sevelius told The Local.  Agnevik said that the Östergötland police had not received any reports of temporary camps, such as the suburban shantytowns that have sprouted around Stockholm. 

In nearby Linköping, the municipality and the local Ryttargårdskyrkan church have joined forced to offer lodgings and some food for unemployed Europeans who have travelled to Sweden. 

"We try to practice what it says in the New Testament, and it says 'Help homeless people', full stop,"  pastor Eleonore Gustafsson told The Local, adding that most people who slept in the church were Bulgarian or Romanian.

"It's short-term help to make sure they have a roof over their heads, which is why we work with the (homelessness organization) Stadsmissionen for more long-term solutions," she said, adding that the Swedish evangelical churches also did a degree of outreach work in vulnerable communities across Europe.

Story continues below…

Back in Norrköping, one woman who contacted the police told them that that a young boy, also speaking German, had knocked on her door asking for food.

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brussels attacks
Swedish terror suspect 'dumped bomb in toilet'
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Belgian media report that Osama Krayem tried to dispose of the explosives before carrying them onto the Brussels metro system.

Eurovision 2016
Regional politicians hit out at Sweden's Eurovision flag ban
Lots of flag-waving at Eurovision. Photo: AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

Spanish politicians have criticized Swedish Eurovision organizers after a regional flag was banned alongside that of Isis from the competition in Stockholm.

Eight charged over shooting at Gothenburg restaurant
People leaving flowers at the scene of the fatal shooting last year. Photo: TT

The attack last spring left two people dead in one of the most high-profile shootings in Sweden in recent years.

Swedes want answers from Russia after Nato warning
Russian T-14 Armata tanks make their way to Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in May. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

UPDATED: What exactly does Russia's foreign minister mean when he says his country will "take action" if Sweden joins Nato?

Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm
Divers looking for a ship in central Stockholm. Photo: Anders P Näsberg/Statens maritima museer

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm.

Alicia Vikander scoops lead role in new Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander poses at the Scandinavian terrace during the 68th Cannes film festival last May. Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP

The next Lara Croft will be a Swede.

Brussels terror suspect wants jail time in Sweden
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Osama Krayem wants to come home if found guilty.

The Local Recipes
How to make Sweden's famous veal burgers
Photo: John Duxbury

These mouth-watering burgers, or Wallenbergare, are a classic at Swedish restaurants. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Russia's foreign minister warns Sweden off Nato
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/TT

Sergey Lavrov also blamed Sweden for a breakdown in relations between the countries in an interview with newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Eurovision 2016
Swedes create world's first crowdsourced singing voice
Screenshot from the 'Sound of Europe' video by Tele2.

Can tech, connectivity and Eurovision help the world unite?

Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
Sponsored Article
'A huge waste of resources': how to fix integration
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
National
How Sweden's fake 'smombie' traffic sign is being used for real
Culture
Sweden's Tarzan drops trousers
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 9th-10th
Sport
Zlatan wants to be new 'Rambo'
National
Swedes in a huff about giant TV penis
3,279
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se