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POLICE

Police fire shots at suspected teen arsonists

Police in a Stockholm suburb responding to a suspected case of arson on Tuesday night fired shots at a car carrying three teenagers who tried to run the police officers down as they attempted to flee.

Two officers from Handen. in Haninge south of Stockholm. fired three shots at the vehicle, which was carrying three 15-year-old youths. Neither the teens nor the officers were injured in the incident.

Police received a call shortly after 9pm alerting them that flames had engulfed a summer cabin in nearby Trångsund.

When police tried to stop a car suspected of having been at the scene of the fire, the driver revved the engine and turned the vehicle directly toward the police.

When the car then accelerated, one officer fired two shots. The second officer then fired one more round, according to police spokesperson Mats Nylén.

“We don’t know why they set the house on fire. At this point there’s nothing to indicate any motive other than amusement,” he told the TT news agency.

The youths are old enough to face criminal charges, but due to their young ages it remains unclear how prosecutors will proceed with the case, said Nylén.

While the fact that the police officers used their firearms has been reported, there are currently no suspicions that they acted inappropriately, according to Nylén.

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PROTESTS

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.

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