Police officer charged with drunken assault of football supporter

An off-duty, drunk police officer has been charged with assaulting a football supporter in a Stockholm metro station last October.

The officer, who works as a football supporter liaison officer, is reported by the Metro daily to have attacked the AIK Solna supporter after recognising him while on a night out.

The officer is accused of having punched and hit the 18-year-old in the face.

“First a punch and then with some type of hard implement,” the teenager said in police interviews.

The officer was out with friends on October 23rd and visited several bars in the Gamla Stan area of central Stockholm. He met a group of AIK supporters at the Central station metro and began talking with them.

It was then that the officer recognised the 18-year-old as one who has featured in several police investigations into trouble at AIK football matches and the drunk police officer then went on the attack, according to Metro.

The officer has also been charged with assaulting an officer in a separate incident on the night in question. He is accused of having after he intervened to prevent uniformed officers from arresting one of his party.

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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.