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Police chief slammed over 'racist' joke

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08:42 CEST+02:00
A Swedish police chief has courted controversy after he dressed up and told a joke about a black prostitute in front of a group of colleagues, reported Sveriges Radio Gothenburg.

"Cousin Arvid meets a prostitute who is coloured. She asks him if he would accompany her home because she thinks he wants to buy sex. So he says to her, 'What am I going to do in Africa?'"

This was the joke told by Ljungby police chief Hans Qvant in connection with a police association meeting last week and has gave cause to some angry reactions.

"There was no entertainment in connection with the dinner at the end of the congress. And I have always thought that it was fun to imitate," said Hans Qvant told the broadcaster of his decision to dress up in front 128 colleagues.

Several of his colleagues did not share Qvant's sense of humour however, including the new chairperson of the Swedish Police Federation, Lena Nitz, part of a new police leadership elected on the pledge of tackling police ethics.

"I thought that this was totally unacceptable. People can take offence and several came to me the day after who were upset," she said.

Nitz confirmed that she had spoken to Mr Qvant, who has meanwhile apologised for any offence taken, while expressing surprise at the angry reactions.

"It is possible that not everyone has the same sense of humour as I and most people have, that is up to them," he said to Sveriges Radio.

"The joke is not playing on her colour, but his stupidity."

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