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Unions take up fight for lewd cop blogger

The Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) has objected to the sacking of a Skåne police officer who in his blog revealed that he and a colleague secretly dabbed the tips of their sex organs against parts of a car driven by female co-workers.

Unions take up fight for lewd cop blogger

The National Police Agency’s (Rikspolisstyrelsen – RPS) staff disciplinary board decided in June to dismiss the man with immediate effect after establishing that the officer was indeed behind the indecent blog posts which constituted a serious breach of discipline and were deemed to damage the reputation of the police force.

But the police unions have now reacted to what they argue constitutes a case of unfair dismissal and have submitted an application to The Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket) to have the decision overturned.

“We demand that the decision is overturned. The Police Union does not consider there to be factual grounds for dismissal. We demand general and economic compensation,” the union wrote in its application on behalf of the officer.

Writing a blog under the pseudonym Farbror Blå (Uncle Blue), the officer revealed that he and his cop buddy “bell-ended”* the door handles, window buttons, gear stick, steering wheel, stereo buttons and the police radio buttons, as well as the receiver used to talk to the operations room”.

The practice of bell-ending, or ollning, involves a man touching an object with his glans and has established itself as a recurring form of practical joke in Sweden. The term comes from ollon, the Swedish word for glans.

“When the girls had driven around for an hour or so in the bell-ended police car we had a chat with them and revealed our bell-ending exploits,” and “now we know what a facial expression of bleak anxiety looks like,” were sample of posts from the blog, ending with a smiley face.

‘Uncle Blue’ also wrote in lurid detail about a call-out to a student residence where a mentally unstable young woman allegedly made sexual advances towards both him and his partner.

“We decided we couldn’t force her into institutional care. Being horny isn’t dangerous, after all,” he wrote.

Further blog posts included details of how he shook hands with a man who had just hanged himself, provoking guffaws from his colleagues. He also claimed it felt “damn good” to punch somebody in the mouth.

When police management became aware of the blog through a newspaper, the policeman said that everything was made up and intended as a joke.

The police officer had previously been suspected of sexual assault, but the prosecution noted that it was not possible to connect anything he had written to the actual events and decided not to prosecute him.

However, the Police Authority (Polismyndigheten) in Skåne recommended that the police officer be dismissed regardless of whether the stories were true or not and the disciplinary board followed the recommendation.

*Translation note: Bell-ending, a neologism derived from a slang term for the glans, is not a word in common English-language usage.

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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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