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CRIME

Mother denies killing two young sons

A mother held on suspicion of killing her two young sons, whose lifeless bodies were recovered from a lake in Sigtuna north of Stockholm on Monday, has denied committing the crime.

Mother denies killing two young sons

The 30-year-old woman’s lawyer, Eva Möller, confirmed for the TT agency that her client is currently being held on suspicion of having killed the two boys.

“I don’t want to comment further on her mental state. But she has just lost two children,” said Möller, who added that she met with her client Monday evening following her arrest.

“At that time they had held a short interview where she was informed of the suspicions against her. No additional interrogations were held after that and no more are planned.”

The woman was allegedly down near the shoreline with the two boys, ages 4 and 8, on Sunday night when something happened.

“She said that she heard a thud when they were down by the water and that suddenly, the boys were gone,” the father of the 4-year-old told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

He said he received a call from his ex-partner on Sunday night in which she said that “something unpleasant and strange” had happened to the children.

The father rushed from his home in southern Stockholm to Sigtuna where he found the boys’ mother in a state of shock.

“It was like talking to an empty hole,” he said.

The suspected mother also participated in the early search for the boys, who were first reported missing around 10pm on Sunday evening.

Police intensified their search on Monday morning after conversations with people in the area led them to believe that a crime had been committed.

The boys’ mother was arrested shortly before 11am as police made additional observations that strengthened suspicions that the boys didn’t disappear willingly.

The first boy’s body was recovered around 12.30pm on Monday. A short time later, divers located the body of the other boy.

Autopsies will be performed on the bodies of the two boys later in the week, according to police spokesperson Stefan Marcopolus.

He also expected the boys’ mother to be questioned further.

“The woman will be interviewed again in the coming days, but no time has yet been set,” Marcopolus told TT.

Police investigators are reluctant to release many details of their investigation, which is in an early and sensitive phase.

However, police are hoping to make contact with witnesses who may have been nearby the Munkholm bathing area in Sigtuna between 6pm and midnight on Sunday evening.

“The witnesses we’ve interviewed so far have strengthened our suspicions that a crime was committed,” said Marcopolus.

According to neighbours, the habits of the woman and her two boys changed drastically about a month ago.

“The blinds were suddenly pulled down and the children disappeared from the playground,” a neighbour told Aftonbladet.

The 4-year-old’s father also told of receiving a call from his son’s daycare inquiring as to the boy’s whereabouts.

“They asked what had happened to the boy since he hadn’t been back since the end of summer vacation,” he said.

The father was unable to reach the boy’s mother to discuss the matter.

“In retrospect, I think I should have contacted the police sooner,” he said.

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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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