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POLICE

Top cop jailed for sex crimes

A former principal of Sweden's police training college and chief constable of Uppsala County has been jailed for six and a half years for crimes including aggravated rape, pimping and paying for sex.

Top cop jailed for sex crimes
Göran Lindberg at his sentencing hearing on FRiday

Göran Lindberg faced 23 charges, including one count of aggravated rape, three counts of rape, ten counts of pimping and eight counts of paying for sex. He pleaded guilty only to the charges of paying for sex. He was found guilty on all but six charges. He was acquitted of one charge of rape, three charges of pimping and one charge of preparing to rape a child.

Prosecutors had wanted Lindberg to serve eight years in jail. Lindberg argued that he should be released, claiming that his long period on remand was sufficient punishment for the crime of paying for sex.

Lindberg was arrested on January 25th in Falun, where he was on his way to a meeting with a young girl with whom he had planned a sexual encounter. At this point he had been under police surveillance for some time.

When he was arrested, Lindberg was carrying a bag containing items that could be used to facilitate sexual assaults.

The charges against Lindberg sent shockwaves through the Swedish police service. His seniority and the nature of the charges against him make it the biggest ever scandal in Swedish policing.

The impact of the charges was all the greater due to Lindberg’s reputation as one of the Swedish police’s top authorities on ethics and morals. He frequently gave lectures on topics such as gender equality and spoke out against sexual harassment and bullying.

Two members of the police board in Uppsala County are new demanding the establishment of a “truth commission” to investigate whether Lindberg committed crimes while he was serving as chief constable, between 1997 and 2006.

Prosecutor Håkan Roswall said that two prostitutes have claimed he was a client while he was still chief constable. The allegations were not investigated because the crimes were past the statute of limitations.

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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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