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CRIME

Armed men hit Stockholm auctioneers

The Bukowski auction house in central Stockholm was raided on Thursday lunchtime with the thieves reported to have made off with 12 million kronor ($1.5 million) in looted jewellery.

Armed men hit Stockholm auctioneers

Stockholm police confirmed that no one had been hurt in the attack which occurred while Bukowski’s was holding viewings for its upcoming spring auction.

“Three armed men go into the auction house with firearms. They come out after a short while and run into a parked car and flee in it. When we come into contact with the staff, we are informed that no one has been physically harmed,” said Bjorn Engstrom at the Stockholm police.

Bukowski’s is currently holding its showings before its classic spring auction which will run from June 1st-4th. Among the items of jewellery set to go under the hammer on June 2nd are several expensive items, all with reserve prices in excess of 70,000 kronor.

The police located the getaway car on Klara Östra Kyrkogatan, just a few blocks from Arsenalsgatan, and are currently searching for witnesses to determine how the men continued their journey from there.

Among the precious items include a ring with an emerald-cut 5.29 carat diamond, as well as two diamonds set in white gold with a reserve price of between 750,000-800,000 kronor, in a total haul reported to be worth around 12 million kronor.

“A showing was being conducted when the robbery occurred. They took jewellery with a reserve price of 12 million kronor,” said Charlotte Bergstrom, CIO at Bukowski’s, to the Aftonbladet daily.

An emergency services physician is currently stationed outside the auction house and he has been able to speak to staff members and ascertain that no physical injuries were sustained in the attack.

“But many are upset and shocked. They tell some varying stories that are not always consistent, this is probably due to the shock,” the physician told the TT news agency reported at the scene.

Around 20 people were present in the show room at the time including staff members and visitors.

Under the conditions of sale, detailed in the Bukowski catalogue, all submitted items are insured to a maximum value corresponding to the reserve price.

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POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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