Man compensated for police security camera blunder

A man from the Stockholm suburb of Haninge is set to receive 80,000 kronor ($13,350) after his apartment was trashed as a result of some overzealous police work.

Police suspected illicit activity was underway when they discovered two hidden surveillance cameras outside a man’s apartment in September 2005.

A police inspector decided on the spot to conduct a search of the apartment. With the help of a locksmith, police sawed through the man’s security door and broke into his apartment, dismantling the man’s cameras in the process.

“Then they turned the apartment upside down, assuming there was something hidden there, which naturally, there wasn’t,” said the man’s lawyer Bertil Malmlöf to the news agency TT.

As it turned out, the man was a surveillance equipment salesman.

“The police had the idea that the cameras required a permit,” said Malmlöf.

“The stairwell in the man’s apartment building isn’t considered public space. Therefore, he doesn’t need permission to have the cameras. That the police don’t know this is a scandal.”

On Monday, Sweden’s Chancellor of Justice ruled that Sweden’s National Police Board compensate the man for the property damage which occurred as a result of the ransack.