Two dead after violent crash with police car

Two people in their twenties are dead after a head-on car crash with a police car in eastern Sweden on Sunday night, with rescue services pointing to icy roads as the likely cause of the crash.

The accident occurred around 11pm in Strängnäs, about 50 kilometres west of Stockholm, when the young pair’s car hit a police vehicle head-on.

“There was ice on the road. The cars have approached from opposite directions and one car has slid,” explained Mårten Eskilsson of the Eskilstuna and Strängnäs emergency services to the Expressen newspaper.

A 26-year-old woman from Strängnäs and 28-year-old man from Linköping died in the crash.

“The car caught fire and two people died, but we don’t know yet whether it was the collision or the fire that caused their death,” said Mikael Thörn of the local police.

The police officers had minor injuries and were taken to hospital.

“They were conscious when the emergency services arrived on the scene. They are shocked, of course, but it appears as if their injuries are minor,” Thörn told the paper.

The two victims of the accident are reported to have lost control of their car on the slippery road, skidding onto the opposite side of the street and colliding with the police car.

The officers, who were on their way back to the station to finish their shift, were unable to avoid the oncoming car as they were passing under a bridge.

“It’s sad when this happens. Everyone at the police station finds it tough,” said Thörn to the paper.

TT/The Local/og

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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.