Swedish police alert in April Fools’ gone wrong

A father in southern Sweden was the victim of a cruel April Fools’ prank on Wednesday when his partner texted him to say that their nine-year-old daughter had gone missing.

Swedish police alert in April Fools' gone wrong
These are not the people in the story. File photo: TT

On Wednesday morning a man in the region Skåne received one of the worst messages a father could get. 

His partner had texted him saying that their nine-year-old daughter had gone missing on the train between Malmö and Ystad while the mother had gone to the toilet.

Panicked, the man rang the woman on her phone, but got no answer.

At around 9am on Wednesday morning, the frantic father rang Skåne police to report his daughter’s disappearance.

Eventually he managed to get hold of his girlfriend who then informed him that it was all an April Fools' prank, saying that “they usually joke with each other in this way”.

Speaking after the incident, Martin Carlsson, duty officer at Skåne Police in Malmö, said that they did not send out any officers because they did not know where the girl had disappeared.

“But we do take all such alarms seriously, and it’s in cases like this that the first few minutes are the most important,” Carlsson told local paper Helsingborgs Dagblad.

The woman was not suspected of any crime as no police were sent to the scene.

“April Fools’ should be fun. This was bad judgement,” Carlsson added.

This particular prank may not have been particularly clever – or funny – but there were plenty of April Fools' jokes that did manage to raise a few laughs in Sweden.

On Wednesday the Swedish media was awash with April Fools' pranks – including The Local Sweden itself. 

In Luleå readers were no doubt overjoyed to read that an Ica supermarket in the town would be the first in the country to experiment with selling British gin, despite the fact that – with the exception of a few low-alcohol beers and ciders – supermarkets are barred from selling alcohol in Sweden.

And up in the far north, Nyheter24 suggested that Sweden's Ice Hotel was being renamed to avoid confusion with the militant Islamist group Isis, also known as IS.

Meanwhile, here at The Local we reported that the way Swedes say 'no' is slightly different in one isolated town in the south of the country, where many Vikings settled in the 10th century after returning from Scotland. 


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime