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CRIME

Man held after wife found dead in burnt out flat

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of murder after a woman was found burnt to death in her home in far northern Sweden early on Sunday morning.

The 40-year-old mother of three was found dead in her Umeå apartment after the blaze was extinguished.

“When we arrived it was a fully developed apartment fire. The emergency team searched through the building and found one person. They revealed later that the person was dead,” explained Håkan Isekling of the Västerbotten police to the TT news agency.

Several people who lived in nearby apartments were taken to hospital with burns and smoke related injuries.

A man, who was also in the apartment block, has been arrested and is being held in custody on suspicion of murder and arson.

According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the man and the deceased woman were married, although the relationship had already seen trouble before the weekend.

The man had threatened his wife during the summer, leading him to serve four months in psychiatric care, wrote the paper.

On Sunday morning, police stated that the woman had been murdered, although they refused to say more.

“Right now we are not giving out any further details about the suspect, neither the age nor his relation to the woman,” said Peder Jonsson of the Västerbotten police to TT.

The suspect was interrogated on Sunday, as were witnesses and residents of nearby apartments.

The woman’s body has been taken for an autopsy.

TT/The Local/og

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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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