Huge police hunt for missing Swedish teen

UPDATED: Police have have stepped up their search for a missing 17-year-old girl who disappeared on Sunday evening in Kinnekulle, western Sweden.

Huge police hunt for missing Swedish teen
The missing teenager has been named as Lisa Holm from Skövde. Photos: TT

The teenager, who on Tuesday was named by police as Lisa Holm from Skövde, was last seen at a café where she worked at around 6:30pm on Sunday evening when she finished her shift.

On Tuesday police found parts of a phone and a mobile case around one kilometre from the café. They are now concentrating their search on a 300-metre radius in that part of the rural region.  

“We have expanded the search area and this morning a large number of dog handlers are searching the area,” said Ulla Brem a spokesperson for Västra Götaland police.

A helicopter and two horses are also involved in the search mission.

Police have established a command centre at Källby sports grounds near where the café is located. 

On Tuesday police released a photo of the missing teenager in the hope of receiving more clues from the public.

Police say they have received several tip-offs from people who were around the café at the time when the girl was last seen.

“It shows an incredible and positive involvement that people are getting in touch with police,” said Brehm.

But she did not elaborate on what kind of information locals had revealed.

“It’s difficult to say what they have given so far, but we are actively working to investigate the tips,” she added.

Several voluntary organizations have offered to help with the search including the charity Missing People.

“It’s all about the security aspect of the evidence. Missing People understand that it is the police’s job to look first and it is not possible for them and other volunteers to help,” said Brehm.

Police said they were not looking for any specific suspects in connection with the girl's disappearance.


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.