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CRIME

Teen girls convicted for ‘torture-like’ assault

A court in Malmö convicted two 15-year-old girls from southern Sweden for the “torture-like” beating of another 13-year-old girl in a dispute over insulting text and internet chat messages.

The incident took place six months ago in the elevator of a residential building in the Möllevången of Malmö, reports the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

The two 15-year-old’s lured the younger girl into the elevator in order to exact revenge for demeaning messages posted by the 13-year-old via the MSN internet chat website.

“Why have you been so tough on the screen and called me things?” asked one of the 15-year-olds before the start of the assault, according to Sydsvenskan.

The two older girls then knocked the 13-year-old to the ground and began to kick her repeatedly in the head and torso.

They also pressed lit cigarettes into the younger girl’s chest and hands while at the same time calling other friends to come and witness the revenge attack.

A total of nine young people eventually arrived on the scene, and at one point the 15-year-olds forced the 13-year-old girl to lick the shoes of one of the boys standing in the group.

The beating continued for nearly four hours, and before leaving the scene, one of the 15-year-old’s threatened the younger girl with a pistol.

The 13-year-old spent four days in the hospital following the beating. Six months on, her nose remains swollen and she continues to have trouble breathing, the newspaper reports.

In delivering its guilty verdict on Wednesday, the Malmö District Court characterized the 15-year-old’s attack of the 13-year-old as “raw”, “drawn out”, “torture-like”, and “deeply degrading”.

The two teenagers were convicted of aggravated assault, obstructing justice, as well as for making illegal threats and were sentenced to juvenile rehabilitation and community service. They were also ordered to pay 21,000 kronor ($2,640) in damages.

The court added that, had the two teens been adults, the severity of their crimes would have likely resulted in two-year prison sentences for them both.

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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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