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OFFBEAT

Many nightclubs lack licence to dance

Revellers frequenting venues where music is played are best advised to consult with the landlord before making any sudden movements. Should the bar lack a special dancing licence the owner may wind up in trouble with the forces of law and order.

Nightclub Debaser recently opened a second premises at Medborgarplatsen in central Stockholm. With five bouncers hired to keep an eye on proceedings, the owners thought they had done more than enough to ensure the security of their paying guests.

But then one night a police patrol came to have a look around. Once inside the officers were confronted with the unmistakable sight of young people engaged in the act of dancing.

“We were told that if we have dancing in our club we have to have lots more security guards; one for every hundred customers,” Debaser’s Stefan Telford told The Local.

Irritated by what he refers to as the “stupid dancing permit”, Telford takes the example of the club’s alcohol-free matinée shows, which cater for a younger audience.

“If we have 800 kids there, we have to pay for 8 security guards. That means we make a loss,” he said.

Telford adds that the police view Medborgarplatsen as a problem area. Although the club has not had any problems with its customers at the new venue, police were insistent that a dancefloor necessitated additional security.

Debaser received its licence last week, but there are many other clubs around the country that could face difficulties if they do not get their dancing papers in order.

“If somebody begins dancing at a place that doesn’t have a dancing licence, the landlord is obliged to immediately turn down the music and stop the dancing,” police spokesman Christer Ohlin told newspaper Södermalmsnytt.

Until recently, however, Stefan Telford was not aware that his club required a dancing licence. And he is not alone.

“Some people maintain that an alcohol licence includes the right to so-called spontaneous dancing. But that is simply not the case,” said Christer Ohlin.

For safety reasons police conduct regular spot checks to ensure that nobody is dancing without their prior knowledge. But Ohlin admits that it can be tricky to differentiate between dancing and other forms of rhythmic motion.

“It is difficult to say exactly what constitutes dancing. It is a bit fuzzy and a question of interpretation. But if there is a presumption that dancing may occur on the premises then there has to be a dancing licence,” said Ohlin.

ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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