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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

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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