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Sweden ‘less prepared’ than Norway: report

Sweden would not be able to mobilize as many ambulance helicopters or specialized medical staff as Norway did during the 2011 attacks, according to a new report by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

Sweden 'less prepared' than Norway: report

In Norway there is a long tradition of doctors treating victims on the scene of the accident or in the ambulance on the way to hospital, while it is much more unusual in Sweden, according to news agency TT.

However, according to the agency’s evaluation, these types of treatment methods are crucial in order to increase survival rates in victims suffering from gun wounds or injuries caused by explosions.

The authors of the report also urge Sweden’s municipalities to look into what local hotels and residential study centres could be used as support centres in case of a serious incident, as was done for the relatives of the Utøya victims in Norway.

The local authorities ought to make arrangements with these establishments and carry out crisis training, according to the report.

“The Norwegian society was able to meet the needs of those affected from the early stage of the incident,” said Per-Olof Michel, researcher at Uppsala University and director of the National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry (Kunskapscentrum för katastrofpsykiatri).

Michel is one of the authors of the Swedish study, which shows that national disasters can strike against small municipalities, like Hole municipality in Norway, where the island of Utøya is located.

“That takes resources and there must be a better cooperation between different authorities,” said Michel to TT.

When it comes to support for victims there is definitely improvements to be made in Sweden, according to Michel. Some county councils are currently unable to offer research based treatment for those that have been through serious traumas.

”Just to sit and chat to someone after being traumatized is not good, then you may not be helped at all,” Michel told TT.

TT/The Local/rm

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BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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