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Swedish police launch paedophile victim appeal

A 41-year-old suspected paedophile currently in custody may have had contact dozens more children via internet chat sites, warn Swedish police, who have appealed to the public for help in identifying potential victims.

Swedish police launch paedophile victim appeal

The man has been in custody since April for five suspected counts of sexually assaulting a child, four counts of paying for child sex, and 13 counts of sexual molestation.

Police believe he has been active for years and, having combed through files on the man’s computer, believe he has used a number of aliases on different internet chat forums and social media websites such as MSN, Facebook, snyggast.se, and kamrat.se.

“Aside from one case, the girls haven’t filed the reports themselves, but have been found through his computer,” prosecutor Markus Hellsten said at a press conference on Thursday.

Based on the material found on the 41-year-old’s computer, police have been able to identify 14 young girls, but have yet to confirm the identity of an additional 35 victims.

With few exceptions, the victims are young girls, aged 7 to 18-years-old.

Investigators now hope to get in touch with more victims by sending emails to addresses found in chats where the 41-year-old has been an active participant.

So far, investigators have identified 800 addresses in the man’s computer.

In consultation with child and youth psychiatrists, police plan to get in touch with suspected victims, provide information about the man, and request they contact police.

Children and their families have been urged to contact police if they suspect they may have been contacted by the man.

“Though a few interviews we’ve realised that this is a hard subject for children to talk about,” said Hellsten.

The 41-year-old, who resides in the Stockholm area, has previously been convicted of assault and molestation. He is also suspected in several rapes and for child grooming.

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PROTESTS

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.

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