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Police warn immigrants after Malmö shootings

Police in Malmö issued a warning on Thursday urging residents with immigrant backgrounds to be extra careful when out alone at night or in the evenings.

Police warn immigrants after Malmö shootings
Police hunt for evidence from a Tuesday night shooting in Malmö

The warning comes following information released by the police on Wednesday indicating that residents with immigrant backgrounds have been targeted in a number of recent shootings, up to 15 of which the police believe may be related.

Police also cautioned members of the public not to try to intervene if they witness a new shooting.

“You shouldn’t give chase. The first think you should think about is your own safety, then call the police,” J-B Cederholm of the Skåne County police said at a Thursday press conference, according to the Kvällsposten newspaper.

There have already been 50 shootings in the southern Swedish city this year. While a number of the shootings haven’t resulted in any victims, olice are nevertheless concerned about the situation.

They believe that one or a handful of dangerous individuals are behind up to 15 shootings in which all but one of the victims has had an immigrant background.

As a result, police have focused their investigation on groups of right-wing extremists.

“It’s part of our preliminary investigation. But we’re also looking wider than that,” police spokesperson Mats Lassén said at the press conference.

The first victim was a 20-year-old woman who was alone in a car with a 21-year-old man near the Rosengård neighbourhood in October 2009.

The woman died from her injuries, while the man, who had a foreign background, survived.

No one has been arrested in connection with the shootings, according to the police, who have established a special group with several officers to work on the investigation.

While no tips have come in which have led to a major breakthrough in the case, police are hopeful that they will be able to arrest the suspected shooter or shooters, Kvällsposten reports.

“And if the assailant continues, there is a greater risk that he’s make a mistake, that he’ll leave a trace of something behind,” said Cederholm.

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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