• Sweden's news in English

Police terror response hit by chopper shortage

TT/The Local/pvs · 28 Jul 2011, 16:07

Published: 28 Jul 2011 16:07 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We have a huge need for better transport options," said Jonas Hysing, deputy director of the National Task Force.

On one mission in northern Sweden, National Task Force officers were obliged to travel on a scheduled flight.

The National Police Agency (Rikspolisstyrelsen) is now investigating the possibility of acquiring more and larger helicopters.

Justice minister Beatrice Ask, does not know if the Swedish National Task Force would be able to scramble faster that the Norwegian police, who took an hour to arrive at the island following the first alarm call.

"It's hard to say. Sweden is a large country and it may take time to get around, but the ambition is to be in place as quickly as possible when an emergency occurs," she said.

Ask said that the transport resources available to the police are currently under review.

"There is an ongoing investigation by the National Police Agency. The National Task Force, of course, aims to be better and faster than at present. But this is a discussion that, first and foremost, the authority must conduct.

When asked why an investigation was needed and why a helicopter could not just be purchased, Ask replied:

"It is not just a matter of buying one. It has to be paid for, then it has to be fitted and there should be staff, there is quite a considerable apparatus."

The head of the National Police Agency, Bengt Svenson, argued that the problem is not the lack of helicopters, but the coordination of those that are currently in service.

"The Swedish police have no helicopter that can transport a whole group of seven or eight police officers. But this is an issue that is broader than the police."

"Currently every authority accounts for its own own helicopter operations. We need better coordination for the helicopters, one possible solution is a new authority to take charge of all civilian helicopter transport."

According to Bengt Svenson there are regional task forces and special riot units in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö, which could be used for a similar attack had occurred in Sweden.

Svenson also said that it is not always the case that a national task force unit will be dispatched.

"It depends on when and how. You have to decide from case to case, what happened on Utøya is so remarkable. If an individual is firing shots does not automatically mean that the national task force is sent."

Story continues below…

Svenson also said that a national task force unit could take longer that other police resources.

"They will probably be in place within a short time, we have police officers throughout the country and there is an emergency routine. But if a special police force is needed it could take longer."

Svenson says that the police should review its helicopter operations.

"We have initiated discussions with other agencies such as the National Agency for Civil Contingencies (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap) to look at how we could coordinate their activities," he said.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:09 July 28, 2011 by HYBRED
Coming up with a bunch of lame excuse's is not surprsing. They look to have a pack of total morons running the show. Mums-i-mums
18:48 July 28, 2011 by Abe L
The EU just made an enormous donation to Greece, money that literally ended up in a blackhole. The percentage of that money that came from Swedish taxpayers could also have payed for these choppers, training and staff.

I just wish countries would stop 'giving' money away when there are very important problems such as these requiring resources but not getting any.

Genuinely digested by this. Governments should address the concerns of the people they are forcing to pay taxes before giving money away.
19:07 July 28, 2011 by Staffs
There doesn't seem to be any shortage of choppers in Stockholm, making everybody's life an effin misery all day with their constant noise pollution..
22:08 July 28, 2011 by dizzymoe33
I just hope Sweden can come up with a good system to respond to an emergency similar to what has taken place in Norway.
08:53 July 29, 2011 by Åskar
@HYBRED And you are, of course, an expert on these matters. Why don't you offer your services to the police?
11:13 July 29, 2011 by Nemesis
Before the Swedish police get any money for any equipment, they should be made to actually do there job first..

It would be pointless giving the Swedish police a helicopter or even a fighter plane as it would still not get them there faster, if they can not be bothered to investigate the actual crime.

Also the follow up by the Swedish police needs to actually occur, let alone improve. Sending letters to victims of crime that there is no evidence of a crime because they could not be bothered to investigate due to having went for pizza instead, is not how to investigate a crime.
11:25 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Police can call Ulla Hamilton and ask her if she can lend some bicycles.
12:42 July 29, 2011 by jacquelinee
"Swedish police have warned that if a terrorist attack similar to the Utøya massacre should occur in Sweden then the response would be no faster due to the shortage of helicopters"

Come on now..... As we all were made aware last week by the Swedish police, this tragedy could never happen is Sweden, because the Crazed Murderous NUTCASE would not be able to obtain a gun license permit and, as we all know, A Crazed Murderous NUTCASE would, of course, follow the laws of the land to the letter.

So, as the police themselves stated their should be no problem. It will never happen here in Sweden. So I guess the shortage of necessary equpment is really no problem at all
12:54 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

Your are so damn right! Anders Behring Breiving would have follow the laws of Sweden to the letter. Because he did not, he did what he did and that is something that is hard to swallo by the Swedish police.

And I do not know in which country does Beatrice Ask live when she states that "Sweden is a large country and it may take time to get around", when you can take a car and make 6 hours from Stockholm to Oslo.
13:57 July 29, 2011 by Bigd
These guys obviously knew of the police chopper shortage and that there'd be no chance of a high-speed air chase! :D

14:08 July 29, 2011 by Streja
Jacqueline, except the police never said that.
14:15 July 29, 2011 by andyron2
@ J.L Bember "Police can call Ulla Hamilton and ask her if she can lend some bicycles"....lol.

Lame excuses again...its not more choppers they need but little brains and revamp of their functioning.They cannot resolve even a minor case,wonder how their recruitment is done(just by physique and an easy police course)?

Puppy shame on thier investigation methods,if they have any.
14:51 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

You are asking too much. Not even with big brains would they do the things properly. It is far beyond their reach.
15:18 July 29, 2011 by ebsor12
Like other fields the swedish must induct immigrants into police , then there would be no problem.

To solve a criminal case you have to think like a criminal ...
16:18 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

If that would be the case, there is no need to induct inmigrants into the police force. They would need to induct people like you who suggests the induction of inmigrants because to solve a criminal case you have to think like a criminal. This is really a very racist comment and I truly hope you did not mean to sound it like it sounds. .
Today's headlines
US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available