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CRIME

Boy suspected of brutal murder of 81-year-old man

A 16-year-old boy has been indicted for the December murder of an 81-year-old man in southern Sweden.

The boy was arrested on December 27th, the evening after the 81-year-old’s body was found in a lake near his home in a small community south of Sävsjö.

The 16-year-old stands accused of beating his victim repeatedly over the head with a rock before pushing his body into a lake outside the 81-year-old’s house.

The boy has admitted to the attack but denies that he intended to kill the man.

On Christmas Day, he said, he came into possession of the keys to the 81-year-old’s car, which he planned to steal.

The next evening, the boy was spotted by the elderly man as he made his way towards the 81-year-old’s vehicle. The man accused him of taking his car keys and threatened to call the police.

“The suspect then decided to run after the man and push him over. He found a rock, with which he dealt the man several blows to the head,” said police spokesman Christer Edlund.

After the attack, the boy dragged his victim to the water’s edge and splashed water in his face. When he did not detect a reaction, the boy shoved the 81-year-old into the water.

That evening, concerned members of the 81-year-old’s family contacted police to report his disappearance. When the news spread that the man was missing, the 16-year-old boy joined the search party.

The man’s body was found under a jetty at around 1am the next morning. The following day, the boy was taken in for questioning after his name was mentioned by several witnesses.

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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