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CRIME

Malmö gangland in shock: ‘Women and children are taboo’

Gang criminals in Malmö have expressed their shock at this week's shooting of a 31-year-old woman, complaining that "women and children have always been taboo".

Malmö gangland in shock: 'Women and children are taboo'
Police technicians working at the scene of the crime. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
“This could set new rules for the game,” warned one of a group of known gang criminals interviewed by the Kvällsposten newspaper, “…or it could be the beginning of something new: that there won't even be any rules in the future.” 
 
The woman was the girlfriend of a 35-year-old who according to Sydsvenskan was given an eight-year jail sentence for involvement in the 2008 'Brøndby robbery', when a gang used a bulldozer to break into a safe deposit centre, taking 60 million Danish kroner. Two months previously, she had given birth to his child. 
 
“The father of the child was not even active any more. I don't get it,” one criminal said. “In this world, you just don't intentionally go after someone's family.” 
 
A woman who works as a drug dealer and hangs out with criminals told the newspaper that those she knew in criminal circles were upset by what had happened. 
 
“It's a big 'no no' this. You don't shoot a woman and you really don't shoot a mother.” 
 
The woman had got top marks at school and worked as a doctor. 
 
Witnesses have told the media that the masked killers appeared to have deliberately targeted the woman in what they described as “an execution”. Police have said that they suspect her 35-year-old partner had been the intended victim. 
 
It is not unusual for major heists to be followed by murders. George Francis, one of the gang who pulled off the 1983 Brinks Mat heist at London's Heathrow Airport, was murdered in 2003. 
 
Two people suspected of involvement in the 2002 robbery of 44 million Swedish kronor of foreign currency at Arlanda airport have since been murdered. 
 
Klara Hradilova Selin, a researcher at the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), confirmed that it was “extremely uncommon” for a woman to be shot in a gang conflict. 
 
“With criminal conflicts the victim is almost never female,” she told The Local.
 
“If a woman is a victim of violence, it's almost always someone she knows, a partner or family member. When a woman dies, it's usually strangulation, and almost never shooting.”  
 
“If a woman is shot, it's normally in the north of Sweden when someone uses a hunting rifle.” 
 
Only one woman died in a shooting in Sweden last year, according to Brå statistics.
 
The attack was the first fatal shooting in Malmö since June. 
 

Member comments

  1. Hello there, I just wanted to point out that the headline for this article is quite alarming and misleading as to the content of the article to me as a native English speaker. Perhaps that was not the intent of the writer or editor, but the headline suggests that women and children are themselves taboo within this gangland of Malmö. There is a lot of misunderstanding right now all over the world directed toward foreigners and I think a more mild headline that represents the content of the actual article would better serve the public interest.

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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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