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Malmö sees spike in summer car burnings

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Malmö sees spike in summer car burnings
A burned-out car in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
07:56 CEST+02:00
A string of car fires in Malmö have made headlines in Sweden this week, and fresh statistics from the country's emergency services show that the number of vehicle being burned in the southern city has soared during the summer.

According to numbers from the southern branch of Sweden’s fire and rescue service reported in newspaper Sydsvenskan, 64 vehicles were set alight in the region between June 1st and August 9th.

Around half of those fires took place in Rosengård, a Malmö district with a reputation for social problems and gang-related issues. Almost all of the car burnings were deemed to be intentional.

“The figure is higher than normal when it comes to vehicle fires. It’s a worrying trend we’re seeing now,” Ulf Nilsson, a manager a South Rescue Service told daily Svenska Dagbladet.

Emergency services also said that the fires themselves are not necessarily difficult to tackle, but they could distract from other call-outs elsewhere.

Five cars were burned on Monday, four of which occurred in Rosengård and one in Kroksbäck in the west of the city. That was followed by a further three burnings in the two districts on Tuesday.

Last night meanwhile several more cars were set alight, with Sydsvenskan reporting that as many as seven burned between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

In Rosengård, two cars were set on fire in a parking garage, with two young people seen leaving the site on a moped, according to Skåne police.

A spokesperson for the local police insisted however that the problem was not exclusive to that suburb.

“Too many cars have been burned in a short time. But it isn’t only in Rosengård that it’s happening, that must be stressed,” Ewa-Gun Westford said to SvD.

Numbers released by Swedish police on Tuesday show that of the 23 car burnings between August 1st and 8th this year, 15 occurred in the Rosengård district.

The police figures also show however that between 2009 and 2015, the yearly number of car burnings in Rosengård was on a clear downward trend, dropping from 219 in the first year of that period to a total of 52 last year.

The total number of car burnings across the city also halved in that same time period.

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