Bank robber cop hunts himself

The 36 year old police inspector must have thought he had it all wrapped up. In the morning he was training new colleagues. In the afternoon he robbed a Nordea bank. And by the evening he was on the case, hunting the criminals.

Now, he is in custody in Söderhamn, in the province of Hälsingland, charged with what Dagens Nyhter called “one of the worst police crimes so far”: serious robbery, fraud, hijacking, making illegal threats and breach of duty. He faces up to ten years in prison.

“The public’s confidence in us has taken a bit of a knock,” admitted Sten Sundqvist, chief of police in Söderhamn and the 36 year old’s boss.

On December 17th last year, a masked robber went into the Köpmansgatan branch of Nordea in Söderhamn. He threatened staff with a weapon and allegedly took over 200,000 crowns. Outside the bank he stopped a car, forced the elderly woman driver out at gunpoint and used it to escape.

The 36 year old was one of the officers from the local police station who was involved in the intensive search which followed. That evening he led the arrest of two suspects – known drug-abusers – and appeared in media coverage brandishing a submachine gun.

A couple of weeks later the two ‘suspects’ were released without charge.

Then on Friday the 36 year old policeman was arrested. It is not clear what led his colleagues to believe that he was the robber but during the proceedings – held behind closed doors – at Bollnäs district court on Monday he admitted to the crime.

“He is completely linked to the crime,” a ‘source’ told Expressen. “What’s more, we can show that he used his police weapon in the robbery.”

Prosecutor Nils Hallonsten told DN that the arrest took place after an internal investigation showed that two weeks ago the policeman bought a brand new Volvo for 219,000 crowns – in cash.

The 36 year old’s workmates declared themselves “frustrated, angry and disappointed” by his behaviour.

“This has come like a bolt from the blue and is something that many colleagues find very hard to swallow,” said Sten Sundqvist. “Something must have gone wrong.”

Expressen reported that the man lives with his wife and children in a small town in Hälsingland, and lives “a normal family life” with no money problems.

However, DN revealed that his record is not entirely unblemished. At the end of the 1990s he took an angle-grinder from a car he was searching and was punished with a fine. And in 2002 he reported that his house had been burgled and was awarded a considerable payout – said to be over 100,000 crowns – by his insurance company.

But in his official capacity he decided that the break-in should not be investigated. Now, the case is to be reopened as part of the prosecution.

“I have decided that this will also be included in our investigation and have requested the old documents,” said Nils Hallonsten.

Internal investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the 36 year old is involved in other crimes but could not offer any reasons for why he should have become involved in crime. And neither could he.

“He can’t give any explanation for what’s happened,” said his lawyer, Karl-Gösta Myhrberg, to Aftonbladet. “He is deeply regretful.”

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Aftonbladetspan>


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime