- Mounted police now patrol streets of Nacka, south-east of Stockholm
- Suburb has seen around ten robberies of children eight to 15 in just a few weeks
- Children are robbed at knifepoint and have phones, cash and jackets taken
By – Sara Malm
Swedish police have called in officers on horseback to tackle a series of robberies of children by criminal gangs in a Stockholm suburb.
Around ten children aged eight to 15 have been mugged by what has been described as gangs of teenagers in Nacka, south-east of Stockholm, in recent weeks.
The masked attackers have been threatening their victims with knives and forced them to hand over everything from mobile phones to cash and their jackets.
In one day, on December 8, five children between the ages of 12 and 15 were targeted by the same gang.
Police say the perpetrators themselves appear to have been children, describing them as ‘around 14 to 18 years old’ and operating in groups of four to ten.
In response to the surge in child-muggings, authorities in Nacka, a suburb with a population of around 100,000, have now been forced to call in mounted police.
‘They also have very good vision from their horses in case something happens and someone needs help.’
Nacka police say having riding police officers in the area is not just to stop further robberies, but to make the locals feel safer.
The number of robberies in Nacka where the victim has been under 18, have increased from eight in 2013 to 38 in 2017, Expressen reports.
In Stockholm as a whole, the same crime has increased by 60 per cent between 2013 and 2017.
Local police blame cuts in funding which has led to fewer officers on the streets, but also say parents are giving young children expensive smartphones and clothes to a greater extent than previously.
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Read more: From 2018/01/09