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OFFBEAT

Man tweets cops to nab speeders – gets caught

A Swedish man who used Twitter to alert police of speeding drivers on a road near his house got a response – which came in the form of a hefty speeding fine the next day.

Man tweets cops to nab speeders - gets caught

Henrik Ismarker noticed that like himself, his local police were active on the social media network Twitter.

He tweeted to the Söderort police Twitter account on Tuesday, informing them that a road near his house in Stockholm was often frequented by lead-footed drivers.

“People drive too fast in the area and that’s why I asked the police to set up a control,” Ismarker told The Local.

The police responded promptly on Twitter, agreeing that the road needed some form of speed control, especially as there was a school on the street.

The very next day, the man was driving along the road in question when he was pinged for driving 42 kilometres an hour in a 30 zone.

This resulted in a 2,400 kronor fine ($358), and a no doubt red-faced police informer.

Ismarker tweeted the police the next day, saying “Nice that you were there already today. Unfortunately, this became expensive for me”.

When the police confirmed that he had, indeed, been caught speeding on the street, he responded: “This couldn’t be a bigger fail then. But thanks for the lesson.”

When probed about the feeling of getting caught in his own trap, Ismarker tells The Local it was “embarrassing, stupid, and a good lesson”.

However, he’s still pleased with overall response, even if it did leave him out of pocket.

“I’m very satisfied with the police response,” Ismarker said.

“They were very professional both in traffic regulating and with Twitter,” he told The Local.

His blog entry ends with a word of advice to readers: “Drive carefully”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter.

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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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