Stockholm cop dies after falling through ice

A policeman who was part of the motorcade for visiting President Abdullah Gül of Turkey died in Stockholm on Monday after the four-wheeler he was driving veered off the road and through the ice into the waters below.

For an unknown reason, the police vehicle was in reverse when it hit a barrier and flipped off a walkway in Kungsholm, central Stockholm, and into the waters of the Riddarfjärden.

The officer, who is reportedly in his mid-forties, went directly through the ice and the vehicle pressed him under the water.

Another officer jumped down to help, and together with two nearby ice-skaters managed to help pull the man to the shore.

Paramedics performed CPR and took the policeman taken to hospital, but the man passed away at 8pm on Monday.

“Our colleague unfortunately died,” Lars Byström of the Stockholm police told the TT news agency.

“It will be up to the investigation to determine how and why it happened.”

There were several witnesses in the area when the incident occurred in the early afternoon on Monday.

“I saw it, it was surreal,” Fredrik Braconier told the Expressen newspaper.

“It was the kind of thing you see in a movie, not in Kungsholms torg.”

The policeman was working together with other officers as part of a heightened security effort in conjunction with the state visit of Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, who is in Sweden for three days.

Police have launched an investigation.

“We have talked to witnesses and taken information from them. We have photographed the area and tried to capture what happened,” Byström added.

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.