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CRIME

Dismembered body found on ice

The dismembered body of a woman has been found on a frozen stretch of water in the heart of Stockholm.

The grisly discovery was made by a passer-by on Wednesday afternoon, who noticed a plastic bag lying on the ice in Riddarfjärden, just south of Stockholm’s old town. The police were alerted, and following tests they revealed on Thursday that the bag contained parts of the body of a woman between 50 and 60 years old. Her torso was missing, and she “had been subjected to deadly violence before she was dismembered,” said Kjell Lindgren of Stockholm’s police force.

Police, who say that they are treating the woman’s death as murder, have so far been unable to draw any more conclusions about her identity. Her nationality is unclear, although she had shoulder-length blonde hair with touches of grey. The description does not match that of anyone reported missing in the Stockholm area, and police are contacting their counterparts in other parts of Sweden to see if they can help identify her.

Lindgren said that they would initially try to identify the woman through her fingerprints or DNA, and if that failed they would check dental records, although he added that this would take time and would only succeed if she had been to a dentist in Sweden.

The time of the woman’s death remains unclear. Police are also unable to say how long the body had been on the ice, although they point out that the area in which it was found is an extremely busy part of Stockholm, so it cannot have been there for long.

Meanwhile, officers working on the case are appealing for members of the public who might have information to come forward. They are particularly interested in talking to a middle-aged woman who was seen at one o’clock on Wednesday morning walking on the ice near where the body was found.

“This person could have seen something important for the investigation,” said Lindgren

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet

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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