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CRIME

Convicted murderer suspected in new killing

A 36-year-old man suspected of murdering a woman on Kungsholmen in Stockholm over the weekend was already serving a life sentence for another brutal murder. He was on furlough from prison at the time of the killing.

Convicted murderer suspected in new killing

The man had recently had his prison sentence reduced, allowing him to take regular furloughs.

Around 11am on Saturday, a woman was found stabbed to death in an apartment on Kungsholmen in central Stockholm.

The 36-year-old was arrested the same day, and later charged with murder.

The man was already serving a life sentence for another murder committed 13 years ago, reports the Expressen newspaper.

The then 23-year-old man had assaulted and stabbed an intoxicated 46-year-old man to death in Storfors in Värmland in central Sweden.

In May, Örebro district court converted the man’s life sentence to a period of 21 years based on the man’s good behaviour and the court’s assessment that there was little risk he would commit further crimes.

Head prosecutor Gunnar Brodin, who made the recommendation that the court reduce the man’s sentence, does not want to take responsibility for the decision.

“I was going on the recommendations of the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården). He has been well-behaved and has been granted regular furloughs for several years,” Brodin told the TT news agency.

Brodin explained that the risk of reoffence was low, but that in hindsight it appears granting the 36-year-old furloughs was “a poor decision”.

The murdered woman has not yet been identified and her relatives have not been informed, according to police.

Nor has the suspect been questioned by police.

“He has not admitted anything but has requested a change of attorney. We have therefore been unable to question him,” Stockholm police spokesperson Petra Sjölander told TT.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for deadly 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 deadly 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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