Police “hopeful” in hunt for highway robbers

As police continue to pick up the pieces following Monday's attack on a Securicor van in Stockholm, technical experts suggest that the robbers had little experience of explosives - and were lucky not to have blown themselves up as they raided the vehicle.

So far only one person has been arrested in the aftermath of the crime, which was one of Sweden’s most violent highway robberies. A team of around 50 police officers from the Södertörn station have been assigned to the case.

Up to 15 people are thought to have been involved in the crime and police sources have told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter that detectives are focusing on the Tumba-based criminal network ‘Fucked For Life’.

The robbery appears to have been a professional operation, backed by significant resources. Ten cars were set on fire in the vicinity, smoke flares were set off and spikes were spread across roads, all in an apparently successful attempt to hold up the police.

But police technical experts say that the way in which the explosives were used suggests an element of amateurism.

“Professional robbers want to cut a limited opening in the security vehicle’s vault, we’ve seen that in previous cases,” said Harras Kopsch, a senior technical officer at Stockholm police.

“But here the whole of the vehicle’s back section was blown sky high – which can’t exactly have been an advantage.”

Kopsch said that the police are working on the assumption that the robbers lacked any explosives training.

The guards had been forced away from the van and the robbers sheltered behind an electricity box before the explosion. Nevertheless, they were lucky to be able to continue with their operation, according to Kopsch.

“The robbers had no control over what happened,” he said.

The van was said to have contained up to 30 million kronor in cash destined to be destroyed. In such cases the serial numbers of the notes are not recorded – meaning they will be more or less impossible to trace.

While police think luck played a role, Expressen’s sources say that the evidence points to an insider at Securicor.

“Otherwise it’s extraordinary that they knew that this was carrying cash for destruction – such transport is irregular,” said the source.

And given that so many people were involved there must have been accurate information about the route and timing of the Securicor vehicle’s journey.

Having already caught one of those involved, a 20 year old who drove his motorbike directly at an unmarked police car, officers say they are optimistic about catching the rest of the gang.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime