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CRIME

One arrested after police car explosion in Malmö

A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an explosion that targeted a police car in Malmö on Friday night.

One arrested after police car explosion in Malmö
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The detonation, in the Värnhem area of central Malmö, occurred at 7:25pm on Friday, causing serious damage to a police car.

Police believe their arrest to be on solid ground, with CCTV footage from the scene of the explosion having been obtained, reports TT.

A police cordon around the area has now been removed, writes the news agency.

Images from surveillance camera have been secured, and IT forensics personnel will analyse the images on Saturday.

“Based on [the surveillance images], we can say that the investigation is in a good position,” Ewa-Gun Westford, spokesperson with Region Syd (South) Police, told TT.

Westford declined to give further details of statements given by the suspect during interrogation, or of the nature of the images obtained by police. The investigation remains at an early stage, she said.

The 22-year-old suspect was apprehended by police a short distance from the scene of the incident shortly after the explosion, Malmö Police have confirmed. He was taken in by police along with a 26-year-old, initially on suspicion of criminal damage (allmänfarlig ödeläggelse). Following the examination of evidence by a police prosecutor, the 22-year was subsequently detained.

The 26-year-old was released and police currently have no reason to suspect the involvement of additional individuals.

“We have one person who was released. He was technically involved and under suspicion in the investigation, but the prognosis is that that will be lifted,” Westford said.

Sweden has seen a series of criminal acts targeting police in recent months. In November, a hand grenade was detonated outside a police station in Uppsala. In October, shots were fired at a policeman’s house in Västerås and the entrance to the police station in Helsingborg was damaged by an explosion.

Nobody was injured during any of those incidents. Nevertheless, Malmö chief of police Stefan Sintéus said they must be taken seriously.

In a written comment to TT, Sinteús described the latest attack in Malmö as a “digusting act”.

Politicians in Sweden have also condemned the incident. Interior Minister Morgan Johansson wrote in a tweet that he expects Malmö Police to “come down hard and increase pressure on criminals”.

Sinteús said that Friday’s events could be related to the success of police in combatting crime in the city. He also called for politicians to “do more than talk” in order to end the trend of anti-police violence.

“We have seen this several times, including in Malmö and Helsingborg. So it is important that police now deliver what has been promised with resources and working conditions,” the police chief wrote to TT.

READ ALSO: Police suspect they were targeted in Uppsala hand grenade revenge attack

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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