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CRIME

Far-right editor’s offer to pay travel costs to ‘crime-ridden Malmö’ backfires as dozens accept

An offer from the editor of a far-right website to pay travel costs and accommodation for any journalist willing to stay in "crime-ridden migrant suburbs" of Malmö appears to have backfired, after dozens of people accepted his pledge on Twitter.

Far-right editor's offer to pay travel costs to 'crime-ridden Malmö' backfires as dozens accept
A general view of the Malmö skyline. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Paul Joseph Watson made the offer on Wednesday, in response to criticism of US President Donald Trump for making false claims about crime in Sweden.

Watson's pledge has since been met with a wave of replies from people willing to make the trip, including comedian Al Murray, broadcaster Matthew Sweet, and Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald.

“Can I bring my wife too? I'm excited!” Eichenwald asked eagerly in response:

Malmö’s deputy mayor Nils Karlsson even responded, saying he would be happy to meet any journalists sent to the city.

Watson has since donated $2,000 to one journalist, US-based Tim Pool, who is crowd-funding an investigative trip to Sweden. The rest of the willing travellers seem destined to be disappointed, however.

The rush to grab a paid trip to Malmö is one of the more light-hearted consequences of the spotlight being thrust on Sweden this week in the wake of US President Trump's bizarre comments last Saturday, which implied a non-existent serious incident had taken place in the country the day before.

Trump later clarified by saying that his statement was in reference to a story on Fox News. The story, an interview with filmmaker Ami Horowitz claiming there had been a “surge in both gun violence and rape in Sweden since it began its open door policy,” has since been derided for its factual inaccuracies, and the police officers interviewed for it claim their quotes were taken out of context.

Horowitz denies that their answers were manipulated however, telling Fox News on Monday:

“I’ve never had a subject claim, and certainly not prove, that I ever misled them or ever doctored the footage. It’s never happened before. So my record stands for itself, and what you saw on that video clear as day stands for itself.”

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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