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CRIME

Two bodies found in trunk of burning car

Two dead bodies have been found in the trunk of a burned out car near Getinge between Halmstad and Falkenberg in western Sweden, prompting police to launch a murder investigation.

Two bodies found in trunk of burning car

Shortly after 11pm on Wednesday night, emergency crews received a call about a car on fire on a bridge over the E6 motorway near Getinge.

The fire was intense, catching the attention of motorists passing by below on the E6.

Police initially reported that one person had been found in the trunk, but on Thursday morning police confirmed media reports that an additional body had been found in the wreckage.

The car was a red Volvo S60, but police are refusing to say if they know to whom the car was registered or whether they had contacted the owner.

According to the Svergies Radio’s local affiliate in Halland, one of the victims was a man, while the gender of the second victim remains unknown.

Police have released a statement requesting any eyewitnesses to come forward with information about the fire, which broke out shortly after 11pm on Wednesday night.

“The information we’re looking for includes sightings at the time of the fire or just before,” police spokesperson Caroline Bjerlestam told the TT news agency.

When emergency services had extinguished the flames they discovered the first body in the boot of the car.

“Because the person was found in the luggage trunk we can’t rule out that a serious crime has been committed,” lead investigator Håkan Andersson told the Kvällsposten newspaper.

“In order to not miss anything in the early stages of the investigation, we’ve launched a preliminary investigation into murder.”

The area has been blocked off and a forensic investigation was carried out. Later during the night, the charred remains of the car were moved to Halmstad to allow for a more thorough examination.

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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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