Man high on drugs filmed by cops for birthday gag

Two police officers from Malmö filmed a man high on drugs at a psychiatric clinic with a mobile phone while he delivered a birthday greeting to a colleague of theirs.

The incident occurred in February 2008 after the two officers had detained the man, who was high on amphetamines, according to documents from the prosecutor’s office.

Before they handed the man over to staff at the psychiatric clinic, the officers instructed him to wish their colleague happy birthday while they recorded the greeting with a mobile phone camera.

The film was then sent to the fellow officer’s mobile phone using a picture messaging service.

Employees at the hospital were so upset by the incident that they reported the matter to police and a preliminary investigation was launched by head prosecutor Kristian Augustsson.

Under questioning by the prosecutor, one of the officers admitted to the events, but claimed that the detained man had agreed to the prank.

Augustsson subsequently abandoned the case after he couldn’t prove a crime had taken place.

Nor were there grounds for formally disciplining the officers, according to documents from the country police commissioner’s office.

However, the chief of police in Malmö has been asked to have a conversation with the two officers in question.


Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.