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CRIME

Suspected child sex offender caught thanks to alert train attendant

A 40-year-old man is suspected of child sex offences after he was seized at a train station in Landskrona in the company of a tearful seven-year-old boy, thanks to train staff who called the police.

Suspected child sex offender caught thanks to alert train attendant
File photo of the train station in Landskrona. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The man was travelling on a train going towards Malmö together with the boy, who was in tears.

Several of the passengers noticed the boy and alerted train staff. They described the man as strange. The boy was crying for his mother and did not appear to know the man, writes newspaper Sydsvenskan.

When the train stopped at the station in Landskrona, the man and the boy got off. A train attendant, who had attempted to speak with the boy to ask him if he knew the man, quickly followed.

“I ran after them and yelled at him to let the boy go. I then got hold of the boy's arm and after a while the man let go. I then yelled at the man to stay where he was and he actually did,” she told Sydsvenskan.

Police were called and arrested the man, who had no previous convictions and was not known by police.

He is however now suspected of child pornography offences on two occasions, an aggravated child pornography offence (which relates to spreading such material) and raping a child.

The suspected rape is said to have taken place in the man's home in central Landskrona in December 2016.

“These suspicions did not exist before the arrest. It was something we discovered during the investigation that has been carried out since,” prosecutor Eleonora Johansson told Sydsvenskan.

The prosecutor declined to comment on whether or not the man and the boy on the train knew each other, but praised the train attendant: “It's thanks to her intervention that we were able to arrest this man.”

The train attendant told Sydsvenskan she had no choice but to act. “He was so tiny and desperate, I had to do something. I cried with him. No child should have to experience something like that.”

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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