Swedish jails filled with drunken revelers

Swedish police officers have had a busy Christmas night, with plenty of drunkenness and assault reported throughout the country.

A person in Båstad, in southern Sweden, got half an ear bitten off, and in Gothenburg a man was cut in the face with a broken bottle.

Several cases of using force against a police officer have also been reported, as drunken people have got into fights with guards or police officers.

The many drunks have kept the police force busy, and the “drunk cells”, reserved for raucous revelers who need to sleep off the ruse, have been at capacity in a number of Swedish jails.

The police confirm that they’ve been busier than a regular Saturday night, but not moreso than usual for Christmas Day.

“Christmas Day has become a big party weekend,” confirmed Lennart Hornemark of the police’s country communications central in Malmö, to news agency TT.

Per Bäckström, of Gotland’s police force, compared the night to a busy summer’s night.

“There’s a lot more for us to do than on a regular weekend. Our jail has been full.”

The bitter cold may have dampened celebrations somewhat, but in combination with large numbers of drunks, it has created an extra source of work for police officers.

“When it’s this cold, it can get dangerous,” said Kent Lind, officer on watch at Falun’s police station. “We’ve had to pick up quite a few people who’d cozied up for a nap in a snow drift.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


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.