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CRIME

Father arrested for stabbing 7-year-old to death

A 7-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Umeå in northern Sweden on Sunday.

Two of the boy’s relatives – a man and a woman – were arrested on murder charges, but the woman was released around 7pm Sunday evening.

“She was released after interrogations. The man remains in custody, suspected of murder, and a remand hearing will be held on Monday,” Ebbe Nyberg, duty officer at Västerbotten police force, told the TT news agency.

The police are keeping a tight lid on the circumstances of the event, which has been described as “a very tragic family drama”.

“Severe mental disorders are nearly always involved in this type of crime,” said criminologist Mikael Rying, of Mittuniversitetet, to TT.

A neighbour alerted the police, at around 8am on Sunday morning.

“Someone heard pleas for help, about calling the police, from an apartment,” said Dan Andersson, officer at the communications centre.

On arriving at the apartment, police officers found the severely wounded boy. He was taken to the hospital, but later died of his injuries.

According to criminologist Mikael Rying, an average of three children younger than 15 are subjected to deadly violence every year.

This figure has been more than halved since the 1990s, when 10-12 cases were reported per year. However, the figure can also vary greatly from year to year.

“When children are this badly hurt, one of the parents is the perpetrator in 80-90 percent of the cases. The crime is committed in their apartment, and the motive is rarely directed at the child. Instead, mental illness or custody cases can lie behind the violence,” said Rying.

The most common group of children to fall victim are the very young, around one-years-old.

“But the sort of case found in Umeå is thankfully very uncommon. Weapons are rarely involved in cases with young children,” said Rying.

The police have interviewed witnesses and neighbours in the area. The murder weapon has been found, and the apartment has been cordoned off.

A forensic investigation of the crime scene has also been carried out, and further investigations are ongoing on Monday.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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