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Cops 'scared' by Swedish teens' sex crimes views

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Cops 'scared' by Swedish teens' sex crimes views
11:10 CET+01:00
Swedish police are concerned that young people's attitudes towards sex crimes are too lax, with officers in Stockholm receiving a significant rise in reported rapes in recent years.

In the southern suburbs of Stockholm alone, there have been 90 reports of various sexual attacks this year involving victims under the age of 18. 

Police have put their foot down, claiming never to have seen so many reports of rape, and especially gang rape, in their years on the force.

"It's as if the grey area of what's ok and what's criminal has become even more grey," police officer Mihajlo Mrdjen told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

"I'm not exaggerating when I say I feel scared at times during interrogations. It can be a very insensitive setting, both for boys and girls."

He added that he has seen a marked change in youth's attitude toward sex in general, with young Swedes freely joking about sex at a level he's never seen before. Such a laid back attitude, combined with young girls feeling pressure from their male friends, has resulted in an explosion of reported sex crimes. 

But it's not just the violence. Police have reported that many of the crimes have an additional digital element, where victims are filmed and then threatened with having their sexual acts published online if they don't carry out similar acts in the future.

Mrdjen added that many of the young men he dealt with didn't even realize that they were committing crimes, and some of them don't consider forced oral sex to be a kind of rape. A lack of evidence, however, usually sees such cases dropped before they reach a court.

While the reports of sex-related crimes have indeed increased, there is nothing to indicate that the number actual assaults has increased. Rape convictions among young Swedes have not risen markedly either, with researchers suggesting the increase in reports stems from victims being more willing to talk to police, and changes to the constitution as recently as 2005.

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