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CRIME

Arrest made in Swedish honeymooner killing

South African police have arrested a man in connection with the weekend killing of a Swedish woman who was visiting the country on her honeymoon.

Arrest made in Swedish honeymooner killing

Twenty-eight-year old Anni Dewani, a native of Mariestad in central Sweden, was killed on Saturday evening outside of Cape Town after the taxi she was riding in with her 31-year-old British husband Shrien was carjacked.

“I can now confirm that a 26-year-old male was arrested in Khayelitsha in the early hours of this morning, thanks largely to cooperation from the community,” Western Cape community safety minister Albert Fritz said in a statement, according to South African news website Mail & Guardian Online.

“The investigation continues and I urge police to collect and use all available evidence so that we ultimately secure a conviction.”

Earlier in the day, police said they had brought in the 26-year-old man for questioning.

Anni Dewani was found shot to death in the abandoned taxi which she and her husband had taken following a Saturday evening dinner.

The couple had been married in India just over two weeks ago and decided to venture outside of Cape Town’s tourist district so they could see “the real Africa,” Shrien Dewani told The Daily Mail.

“Anni grew up in Sweden and she felt as if the area around this hotel was just like at home: so clean and safe and maybe a bit sterile,” he told the newspaper.

“She had never been to Africa before, so she suggested that we should have a look at the ‘real Africa.'”

Dewani added he felt “powerless” to help his bride and he carries “an enormous amount of guilt” about the carjacking, which took place as they traveled through Guguletu, a township about 15 kilometres outside of Cape Town.

“The men kept on saying, ‘We are not going to hurt you. We just want the car.’ That was a lie,” he continued.

Minutes later, he was thrown out of the vehicle.

Dewani eventually made his way to a police station and alerted officers that his wife had been kidnapped.

Anni Dewani’s body was found early Sunday morning in the abandoned vehicle.

Local officials theorised that the cab driver may have taken a wrong turn as the newlyweds searched for a local restaurant recommended by television chef Jaime Oliver, according to several media reports.

Safety minister Fritz was also frank about the dangers of traveling to the area where the carjacking took place.

“To be in a township at that time of night is very dangerous. It’s something I would never do,” she told the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Anni Dewani’s murder is expected to undo some of the success of the World Cup in promoting South Africa as a safe tourist destination and could damage the world’s perception of South Africa, industry insiders said on Tuesday.

“We hosted an incident-free World Cup and are now facing the very real risk that tragic incidents like this will negate our hard-won positive reputation and create another spiral of Afro-pessimism,” Cape Town development and tourism official Felicity Purchase told AFP.

“There is no doubt from a tourist perspective that it will have a negative -impact, especially with all the media attention,” said Johan Burger, a crime and justice specialist at the Institute for Security Studies.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with an average 46 homicides per day last year.

Cape Town tourism officials downplayed suggestions that Anni Dewani’s death represents an increased risk to visitors’ safety.

“There are thousands of incident-free tours and visits to the townships happening every year,” said tourism association chief Mariette du Toit-Helmbold in a statement.

“In this case, the spontaneity of the couple’s decision and their unfamiliarity with the area put them at great risk.”

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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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