‘Police could have prevented teen shooting’

Police in the Blekinge region have been reported to the Justice Ombudsman for failing to do enough to hinder the killing of a 15-year-old boy in Rödeby last weekend, Blekinge Läns Tidning reports.

According to the Swedish Association for Victim Support (Brottsofferjouren), the boy’s death could have been prevented if police had intervened at an earlier stage to protect a family that for two years had been tormented by a gang of youths.

A 50-year-old man has been charged with the boy’s murder, as well as the attempted murder of a second boy. But many commentators have argued that the courts should bear in mind the extreme pressure the man was under when reaching a verdict.

“This death could have been avoided if police and social services had followed the correct procedures,” association chairman Björn Lagerbäck told Blekinge Läns Tidning.

Lagerbäck added that he would like to see representatives for the relevant authorities brought before the courts.

“These youths weren’t stopped in time and now this parent risks imprisonment for protecting the honour of himself and his family,” he said.

The association chairman said that the 50-year-old man would have to take responsibility for his actions.

“But the police and other authorities bear the moral responsibility.”

In its letter to the Justice Ombudsman, the association specified three measures that it felt should have been taken:

– The youths should have been barred from visiting the family farm outside Rödeby.

– Their mopeds should have been confiscated as they were being used for criminal purposes.

– The gang members should have been forced to obey a curfew.

“I fully support the decision to lodge a complaint,” Sven-Åke Falkstrand, chairman of the Karlskrona branch of the victim support association, told Blekinge Läns Tidning.

Spokesman Tomas Pärlklo agreed that the police always should always take time to analyze their operations.

“But in the case of these gangs, measure were taken that were deemed sufficient,” he told Blekinge Läns Tidning.