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CRIME

Rise in shootings puts strain on Malmö police

After the latest incident where a 15-year-old died from shot wounds to the head and chest on Sunday evening, police say that the situation in Malmö is “strained”.

Rise in shootings puts strain on Malmö police

“There were a lot of shootings during the latter part of 2011. It is a tough situation right now,” said Hans Nilsson of the Skåne county police to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

The 15-year-old was found shot half past midnight, in the midst of New Year’s revellers. Everything is pointing to him being gunned down in cold blood on an open street, while the bangs from the fireworks masked the sound of the gun.

“At first I thought he was drunk, but as I approached him I saw all the blood,” said the person who found him to daily Aftonbladet.

So far the police are flummoxed as to why the boy was targeted. He has no previous criminal record and is described by those in the neighbourhood as “an ordinary guy” who was into sports and very fond of his family.

“Everyone is talking about it and no one can understand. He was a funny and nice guy, he was full of jokes and almost always happy,” said a school friend to Aftonbladet.

So far no one has been brought in under suspicion of being behind the attack, although police have questioned many who were in the area at the time.

With two previous fatal shootings at the end of December to investigate, Malmö police describe the situation as “strained”.

On the day after Christmas, a man was shot dead while playing cards on club premises and just two days before that, a workman was shot while renovating a café in a central part of the city.

During 2011 there have been about 30 shootings and six gang related murders in Malmö, according to local paper Skånska Dagbladet.

The two last incidents in December has made the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalen) send some ten officers to aid the Malmö police in their investigations.

Hans Nilsson told SvD that a lot of weapons on the streets in combination with outdated weapons laws have contributed to the recent escalation of serious violence.

“There is quite a large number of incidents in Sweden related to organized crime and the legislation, which dates from the 1940s and 1950s, isn’t really up to date with the reality we are facing today,” he told the paper.

According to Nilsson, most other countries have more severe regulations on weapons than Sweden today.

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POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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