Man stabs police officer in central Stockholm

A man attacked a police officer with a knife in the Stureplan nighlife area of central Stockholm early on Saturday morning, inflicting minor injuries.

Man stabs police officer in central Stockholm

The police officer was wearing a protective vest and escaped relatively unscathed from the attack.

“There has not been any prior contact between them, the attack must have been completely unprovoked, he came from behind and stabbed with the knife,” said Sven-Erik Olsson at Stockholm police.

The man then made a lunge with the knife towards another police officer and subsequently attempted to flee the scene, but police were able to arrest him.

The man is now suspected of attempted murder.

The suspect denies the charges although he admits having been at the scene of the incident. The man’s lawyer, Ekrem Güngör revealed that his client is not feeling very well.

A short interrogation was held with the suspect on Saturday.

Stureplan is a busy nightlife area in the plush Östermalm area of central Stockholm and is often the scene of disturbances, especially on weekend evenings. Police officers are routinely deployed to the area to observe and to maintain order.

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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.