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Swedish police sent loaded rifle by post

Published: 22 Nov 2011 10:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Nov 2011 10:26 GMT+01:00

Police in Örnsköldsvik, in the north of Sweden, recently sent a loaded rifle through the post to the forensic laboratory for analysis.

”These things happen now and again, unfortunately,” said Tore Olsson at the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (Statens kriminaltekniska laboratorium - SKL) in Linköping to daily Dagens Nyheter.

Police officers in Örnsköldsvik had received the hunting rifle late last year, but hadn't got around to sending it in for analysis until recently. After the lab in Linköping was finished with it, the weapon was to be either re-sold or destroyed.

However, when the forensic scientists unpacked it, they discovered it was loaded with live ammunition.

”It was lucky that nothing happened and we are treating it as a very serious matter that the weapon was sent off without anyone checking if it was loaded,” police officer Dick Danielsson at the Örnsköldsvik station told the paper.

Danielsson has subsequently reported the incident to the Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) and a committee has been appointed to review routines for weapon handling. All personnel will also receive further training.

According to DN, a similar incident occurred in May when another loaded gun arrived at the lab, that time from Halland in western Sweden.

Since then, the lab has issued guidelines about weapons handling and has stressed that the onus is on officers to make sure that weapons are safe before they are sent off.

”Luckily no one on our staff has been injured so far in connection with these loaded weapons, but our personnel are very thorough and don't take anything for granted before they have been checked,” Larsson told DN.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:51 November 22, 2011 by StuartM
Yet another example of gross (and potentially deadly) incompetence at the hands of those who are supposed to be paid to protect us. Clearly Kristiansson and Kvant from the Sjöwall/Wahlöö novels are alive and well.
14:00 November 22, 2011 by skogsbo
there are various levels of what might be phrased loaded and depending what they wanted, unloading it in the lab maybe better for evidence preservation.
14:17 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool
Err, doesn't sending it through the post alter the chain of custody for evidence?
17:15 November 22, 2011 by Svensksmith
Last week they tried to mail a watermelon with food stamps.
20:40 November 22, 2011 by skogsbo
Postage? Knowing editorial accuracy, it could have been tracked or signed for, couriered hand to hand, either if all the signed seals are untouched, then chain is secure, with very labs and a big country it has to get there some how! But i see what your asking.
22:56 November 22, 2011 by Bushyblondehead
Just when I thought they couldn't do anything dopier they totally redeemed themselves.
07:07 November 23, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
Nothing unusual, considering the fact that they are a bunch of incompetent Nincompoops!
14:04 May 21, 2012 by rohermoker
I am personaly glad that those who never made what could have been a deadly mistake, are the ones who coment on the police mistakes.
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