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Young escapees caught

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16:42 CEST+02:00
All three youngsters who escaped from the Sundbo young offenders' institution outside Fagersta were caught on Monday afternoon.

Two were arrested in the forest outside Virsbo around 3pm. Soon after, the third was arrested nearby.

"They have been arrested without any drama - everything went calmly," said Björn Svensson, the Västmanland police spokesman.

Police put out a national alert since the three young men escaped from the safest section of Sundbo.

An employee was forced to hand over her keys after having been threatened with a sharpened toothbrush. With the keys, the trio were able to get a knife from the kitchen, and with the knife they managed to steal a car.

The escape vehicle was found the same evening between Fagersta and Virsbo. Dog patrols followed the young men's tracks but lost them in Ängelsberg.

Last month the National Institutions Board decided to allow a thorough inquiry into increased security at the six youth units which take youngsters who have been sentenced according to the Law on Closed Youth Care.

"We must suppose that we need tighter security - that can mean everything from staff training to security routines, perimeter protection, alarms and work methods," said planning director Maria Åberg to TT.

The weekend's events brought swift criticism upon the government from opposition politicians.

Torsten Lindström, a Christian Democrat member of parliament, wanted to know what measures the government was taking "to protect society from the tendency of criminals to escape".

He pointed out that the authorities ought to be able to keep young offenders secure until they are rehabilitated, while Johan Pehrson of the Liberal Party called for tighter security.

"There is a need for a youth unit with almost prison standards from a security point of view," he told Aftonbladet.

"It's a last resort, but we can't have this sort of thing," said Pehrson.

TT/The Local

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