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POLICE

‘Missing’ Swedish teen was held by police

Swedish mother Marie had to wait five days to find out that the police had arrested her 18-year-old son, by which time she had already reported him as a missing person.

”As a parent in today’s society, with all the stuff that goes on, you do get worried when your child fails to come home,” she told TT.

Her son, brought in under suspicion of making illegal threats and theft, had asked the officers at the time of his arrest if they could call his mother and let her know what had happened, so that she wouldn’t be too worried.

The officers told him both that this had been done and that she sent her regards back to him.

However, according to Marie, no one had called her and the message she allegedly sent her son had been made up by the officers.

Five days after her son disappeared, after she had already reported him missing and had started to hear rumours that he might be held by police, she was informed of his whereabouts.

”I think it is terrible. Even if he is 18 he is still living at home and goes to high school. They really ought to let us know where he is. It was a terrible experience,” she told TT.

However, according to several lawyers that TT spoke to, it is not uncommon that police neglect to contact the families of those they arrest.

”It is fairly common that they don’t bother,” said Staffan Berqvist from legal firm Advokatgruppen in Stockholm, to TT.

According to the local Sveriges Radio station P4 Jönköping, the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman (Justitieombudsmannen – JO) is currently investigating several cases where police have failed to inform the families of those they have arrested of what has befallen them.

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PROTESTS

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.

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