Swedes arrest three men over Spain murder

Swedish police said on Monday they had arrested three Romanians suspected of murdering an elderly woman during a robbery in Spain.

The arrest was carried out during a routine control of the trio’s car which was travelling near Ljungby in southern Sweden, Kronoberg county police spokesman Robert Loeffel told AFP.

The Romanian citizens, aged 25, 30 and 32, were wanted by Spanish police following a robbery in July at a residence in Ulldecona, Catalonia, during which one of two people in the house at the time died.

“The robbers had tied up and gagged the two people. One of them, an old woman whose age is unknown, died from being strangled or choked to death. Spanish police is treating the case as a murder,” a spokesperson for the national police board in Stockholm told AFP.

The suspects are reported to have made off with cash and jewellery.

The suspects have been taken into detention in the southern Swedish city of Vaxsjö and their case has been handed over to the Swedish authorities in charge of international crimes, Loeffel said.

The men have been arrested and the Swedish police confirmed that contact would be made with the Spanish law enforcements authorities.

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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.