Police call for tougher gun crime penalties

Police in Skåne in southern Sweden want to see tougher penalties for gun crimes in hopes of cutting down on the number of shootings in the region.

Police call for tougher gun crime penalties
Guns confiscated in a 2008 raid outside of Stockholm

“It’s unacceptable that people who are found with loaded weapons are released again after only one or two days,” Per Lidehäll of the Skåne County police told the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.

In 2010 alone, there have been more than 50 reported shootings in Malmö. The town remains on edge following an announcement by police on Wednesday that a single gunman may be responsible for up to 15 shootings targeting people with immigrant backgrounds.

On Wednesday night police confirmed that the same weapon had been used in several of the shootings.

“We’re looking at a handgun, either a pistol of a revolver. If we find the gun in question, we’ll have made a huge breakthrough. Now we have something concrete that shows that the shootings are related,” Börje Sjöholm of the Skåne County police told the TT news agency.

While Sjöholm confirmed the same weapon was used in several of the shootings, he refused to say exactly how many of the victims may have been shot with the same gun.

According to Lidehäll, there are “too many” guns on the streets in Malmö, with many having been smuggled in over the Öresund Bridge or simply procured illicitly over the internet.

Police hope that updating legislation may help address the problem. They argue that current laws don’t reflect the realities of contemporary society. Whereas weapons seizures were a rare and noteworthy event years ago, today finding and confiscating guns is nothing out of the ordinary.

Currently, illegal firearm possession carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, while those convicted of aggravated gun crimes in Sweden are sentenced to between six months and four years in prison.

Weapons offences deemed to be minor, however, may result in fines or a maximum of six months in prison.

“It doesn’t help to stop and bother people who walk around with weapons of there isn’t a severe punishment,” J-B Cederholm with the county police told the newspaper.

Cederholm added he is also concerned that guns are ending up in the hands of young people, explaining that even children have been caught roaming the streets with loaded weapons.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

The former politician has been charged on suspicion of murdering his colleague in an apartment south of Stockholm, after police found body parts in three different locations in the capital.

Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

According to the prosecution, the body parts found in plastic bags in central Stockholm came from a man in his 60s murdered in an apartment in Nyköping, south of Stockholm.

The man is said to have been killed by a pistol shot to the head, after which the 60-year-old charged with the murder dismembered the body.

The suspected murderer, who newspaper Expressen reports is a former Sweden Democrat politician, is said to have moved the body parts multiple times, eventually dumping them across the city.

In total, three body parts were found in two different locations – the Karlsberg canal and in the Djurgården park. Not all parts of the body have yet been found.

“We’ve carried out a comprehensive investigation into the victim and the suspect. We can, to some extent, show how and when the suspect moved the body parts,” prosecutor Marina Chirakova told TT.

The victim, who according to Expressen was also a former Sweden Democrat politician, had been friends with the suspected murderer for a number of years. Prosecutors did not comment on the motive behind the murder.

“That will be discussed in the main hearings,” she told TT.

The suspect was taken into custody in November last year after being arrested in Nyköping. He denies the charges, but accepts certain circumstances related to the case.

Upon his arrest, he resigned from his political obligations and his membership was frozen by the Sweden Democrats.

“I don’t want to comment on his stance on the charges or anything he has said,” she further told TT.

The murder is suspected to have taken place between August 30th and September 16th last year.