The riots, which started in the west Stockholm suburb of Husby, are one of the worst events that the Stockholm police have experienced, according to Mika Eskelinen, the police’s work environment coordinator.
“We are no Incredible Hulks. We are regular people who get injured when you hit us,” Eskelinen told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
“The new thing is to attack the police. Many car fires were in fact traps,” claimed Eskelinen.
Hans Olsson of the Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) sad that, when it comes to work environment issues, police officers receive good support from their employers in the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) .
“Coming with suggestions is no problem,” Olsson, who is an ombudsman responsible for work environment issues, told news agency TT.
Olsson agreed with Eskelinen’s statement that having a constant eagle-eye view of the situation is critical.
“It is important to make an evaluation at an early stage when something happens so that you actually consider all aspects when it comes to equipment, tactics and work methods,” said Olsson.
It has also emerged that some police officers did not have adequate protective equipment during the riots, such as helmets and arm and leg guards.
Olsson said that the union and the National Police Board are having a good dialogue about this matter, too.
According to Olsson, the Stockholm police have no plans to purchase new equipment specifically for events such as the Husby riots.
On Friday, a 26-year-old man who participated in the riots was charged with vandalism. He admitted to torching two cars in the suburb of Rinkeby.
The riots started on May 19th and within days spread to several Stockholm suburbs as well as to other Swedish towns.
During the unrest, youths torched around 150 cars and threw stones at police officers and firemen.
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