The city of Stockholm has decided to deploy more security personnel in the city's eleven cemeteries, which have become a haven for criminals, national broadcaster SVT reported.
Just over a week ago, two boys were subjected to ten hours of torture and rape at the North Cemetery in the city of Solna. Following the torment, during which they were also stabbed, the victims were buried alive. The suspects were described as having a long history of crime and juvenile delinquency behind them.
However, the heinous torture-rape in Solna is far from being an isolated incident, as the country's cemeteries are increasingly utilised by criminals for a slew of illegal activities, including the drug trade.
“Even though there are not as serious incidents as the one at the North Cemetery in Solna, incidents happen every week. It can, for example, be about theft, prostitution or handling stolen goods,” housing and property council Dennis Wedin of the Moderate Party told SVT, describing the move as as bid to increase safety.
The Church Administration will also investigate the possibility of closing its larger cemeteries at night and deploying camera surveillance.
Guarding cemeteries currently costs SEK 1.2 million ($140,000) per year, a cost that will more than double by a further SEK 2 million ($230,000) due to increased surveillance.
Earlier this year, the Church of Sweden warned about both drug trafficking and prostitution occurring at cemeteries across the country, above all in the largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Amid escalating crime, cemeteries were said to be an “unsafe workplace” for church personnel, who described crimes as happening “almost daily” and “in broad daylight”, the newspaper Aftonbladet reported.