Unsolved Murders and Nobel Prize Put Sweden’s Capital in Focus of Attention

Sweden, 13 Sep - 10 Oct 2016
Stockholm announces 2016 laureates of Nobel Prize ++ Age limit for movies probable to be relaxed ++ More murders in Stockholm metropolitan area – most cases remain unsolved. by Sarah Onkels
Stockholm announces 2016 laureates of Nobel Prize

The laureates of the Nobel Prize 2016 have been made public in Stockholm and Oslo, Norway. Among them are the renowned scientists Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for the prize in chemistry, Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström for the prize in economic sciences, David. J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for the prize in physics and Yoshinori Ohsumi for the prize in medicine/physiology. Furthermore, American rock star Bob Dylan will be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature and Juan Manuel Santos the Nobel Peace Prize.

The laureate who attracted the biggest attention was not world-famous singer-songwriter, artist and writer Dylan, as some might have expected, but the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Colombia‘s president Juan Manuel Santos. He is granted the prize "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end" – even though the Colombian people recently dismissed a peace agreement between the government and the Farc guerillas negotiated by Santos in a referendum. Anna Nylander, chair of the organisation Solidarity Sweden-Latin America, stresses the importance to recognise the efforts made on both sides. An attitude shared by the Nobel Committee, as the prize is also directed "to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process." Nylander has also uttered hope that giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Santos will have a positive effect on the Colombian peace process and influence future agreements in a positive way.

Age limit for movies likely to be relaxed

A debate concerning the probable relaxation of the age limit for movies rated 15+ is raising attention. The government intends to allow teenagers of the age eleven and older to watch movies with an age limit of 15 if they are in company of an adult.

Parents tend to be sceptical towards the idea and utter concern that those movies might be too heavy for their children to process. Others, like culture minister Alice Bah Kuhnke and female film director Suzanne Osten, speak in favour of this step. Osten emphasizes that teenagers nowadays have the opportunity to access most movies through the internet anyways. The move as pursued by the Swedish government would at least provide a safe environment for them to watch such movies, claims Osten.

Allowing kids to see movies that are rated above their age is already possible for younger children facing the age limits for movies of 7 and 11. Accompanied by an adult, children of all ages can attend a movie that is rated age 7, whereas and children who are seven years old or above can watch movies with an age limit of 11. This already existing system would thus be expanded and adjusted for movies which are rated age 15 or above.

More murders in Stockholm metropolitan area – most cases remain unsolved

A map which locates all cases of murder in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm in recent years has been published in Swedish media. The graphic presentation that is based on official police statistics includes murders, attempted murders and also displays where cases of criminal arrangement are suspected behind the crime.

The number of victims of murder or attempted murder is stuck at a frightening level in the past few years. Even more worrying: Most of the crimes remain unsolved. Most victims are young men who have a criminal background, mainly as small-time criminals. The police explain that the investigations could reveal little information so far with the fact that the victims and their surroundings keep silent due to lack of trust in the judiciary system. Thus, arrests have not led to results so far.

Christer Axling who co-leads the investigation states that besides an easier access to weapons, a change in the criminals’ attitude had taken place in recent time. This observation is affirmed by his colleague Mikael Wessling. The change of attitude of the criminals is marked by a lower inhibition threshold in the use of weapons, the willingness to use weapons in broad daylight, hazarding witnesses and the involvement of innocents as well as abject motives for committing murder.

Stockholm’s police are currently facing an increase in unsolved cases of murder and attempted murder: Of a total of 41 open murder cases, 21 occurred in 2016, while of the 62 open cases of attempted murder 51 happened this year. Many cases can be traced back to territorial conflicts among rivalling criminal networks, their fear of each other, and consequently their readiness to carry and use weapons. However, not all cases have this background; some are connected to the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or other circumstances.

The police are going to recruit almost 300 new officers to help with the investigations focusing on the areas that are hit hardest. Their success is to be hoped for, most of all, according to Axling, because it comes close to a miracle that no innocent bystander has been killed so far.

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