Drunk gunman held two kids hostage

A drunken gunman held two children hostage on Friday night in a flat in Timrå, northern Sweden. After a long police negotiation the gunman gave himself up.

A 40 year old man armed with a hunting rifle barricaded himself in a flat in Timrå on Friday night. Initially he held a woman and three children, all aged under 15, hostage. During the night, the woman managed to escape with the youngest child and

Tomas Åslund, from Timrå police force and head of the operation, confirmed that that the man was the father of the children and that he had taken out his hunting weapon following a family argument.

Police began trying to talk the man down with specially trained negotiators, but knew that the process would take a long time as the man was so drunk.

“Alcohol and firearms are not a good combination” Åslund told reporters from TT.

Negotiations finally paid off at around 2am when the man gave himself up. According to the local paper, Sundsvalls Tidning, the weapon has been seized and the man has been taken to the police station where he is being held on suspicion of aggravated assault.

According to the police, nobody has been physically injured.


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.