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CRIME

14-year-old girl suspected over teenager’s death in western Sweden

A 14-year-old girl is suspected of causing another teenager's death at a residential care home in Trollhätten, western Sweden.

14-year-old girl suspected over teenager's death in western Sweden
The incident took place in Trollhättan. File photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

The girl was questioned by authorities on Thursday after an argument at the HVB care-home the previous day led to a 17-year-old girl being taken to hospital, where she later died.

“I can't say that she confessed, but she gave information which together with other witness statements gave us a very good picture,” said prosecutor Robert Beckard. “Everything points to it being a knife wound which led to the 17-year-old's death.”

Speaking to the TT newswire, he could not share any further details about how the incident unfolded or any possible motive.

The girl is being investigated for murder or manslaughter but due to her age, she will not be tried as an adult.

“It is an extremely serious incident so we really have to investigate what happened and whether we could have acted in any way. Of course we're looking into it,” the head of the care home told local paper GT

Criminologist Mikael Rying, who works for Swedish police and has analyzed all murder cases in Sweden since 1990, said he had no knowledge of any similar cases in recent decades. “I can't think of (any cases in which) a girl under the age of criminal responsibility has killed,” he said.

“We don't know what happened. Murder is a brutal classification for a crime, and the younger a child is, the harder is it to claim intent,” he added.

All the other children living at the home have been moved to other accommodation following the incident, local media reported.

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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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