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New rules allow Swedish cops to use tear gas

TT/Clara Guibourg · 29 Jan 2012, 10:35

Published: 29 Jan 2012 10:35 GMT+01:00

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Using tear gas is common in these situations in several countries, but in Sweden, police have been banned from using tear gas outdoors up until now, reported Sveriges Radio (SR).

"Tear gas outside hasn't been allowed at all, and that's what the new rules mean, that it's okay to use it in certain situations," said Per Engström, head of the crime prevention division at the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen), to SR.

Swedish police have previously only been permitted to use the substance indoors, for instance when attempting to get people to leave a barricaded apartment.

"It's really very hard to say when this might be used, but we've built in a number of decision levels to ensure that this is used in an absolutely correct manner."

Parallel with the introduction of tear gas, rules for when and how police may use pepper spray have been tightened, after harsh criticism from the Ombudsmen for Justice (JO).

Story continues below…

"For instance, restrictions will apply inside arrest cells, an area which has previously been totally unregulated. Vehicles are another example," said Per Engström to SR.

The new rules for tear gas will come into effect on February 1.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:26 January 29, 2012 by johan rebel
Welcome to the modern world of riot control.

Now how about getting some tazers, stun grenades, and water cannon with dye or tear gas added to the water.
03:03 January 30, 2012 by cattie
Are they going to be allowed to use rubber bullets, also?

I can still remember from 2001 the riots in Gothenberg and the police excusing their lack of crowd control with well, "those rioters were not from sweden."

20,000 people
06:52 January 30, 2012 by Hunner1210
Ja and when will they be allowed to use REAL bullets like in Syria? Or maybe just intimidation like in China? Or maybe they should cover entire cities in tear gas like USA? THAT will make the people obey. Sverige, for a country with some of the/if not the fewest violent protests- NO WONDER why you would change your tactics!,,,,, ???!!! IN FACT, the only violence i have seen on Youtube in your/Scandinavia's protests are THE POLICE! The same people you are giving MORE ROOM to be violent. Smh (American slang, look it up)
11:18 January 30, 2012 by johnny1939
More power to the Swedish Police!!!!!!! They have to be able to compete w/ their adversaries to be able to protect the rest of us.
11:26 January 30, 2012 by Kaethar
I support this. Tear gas is a great non-violent way of getting in control of violent crowds.
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