Child’s toy bow and arrow spark police alert

After a summer of violence the southern Swedish town of Malmö is on edge, so much so that a full-scale police operation was launched for what turned out to be a child playing with a toy gun and a bow and arrow.

Child's toy bow and arrow spark police alert
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

In the early hours of Thursday morning Malmö police were alerted to a potentially armed man on the balcony of a residential building in the neighbourhood of Lindeborg. 

“The person who called us had seen a person on a balcony with some sort of gun and a bow and arrow,” a spokesperson for South Region Police told The Local.

After a summer of violence in the troubled city, including four grenade attacks last week, police weren’t going to take any chances, sending out “quite a few” officers to the scene, including patrol cars, according to the spokesperson.

“We arrived at the address given to us and waited outside the building. Twenty or 30 minutes later we entered the building, went up the stairs and knocked on the door to the apartment where the man had been seen.”

But instead of finding terrorized residents fearing for their lives they found a baffled-looking couple with a small child.

“It turned out it was a young child with a toy gun and a bow and arrow,” the spokesperson said.

“Shortly after we found out it was a child we left the scene. The last patrol car left just before 2am.”

This isn't the first time a small child has sparked a police alert in Sweden.

Back in June The Local reported how a two-year-old in Stockholm was mistaken for a burglar's loot, while a neighbour thought his businessman father was a robber, because he had grown a beard while on paternity leave.

READ MORE: Swedish toddler's ride in bag sparks police hunt


Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

Connected cars are increasingly exposed to security threats. Therefore, a major government initiative is now being launched via the research institute Rise.

Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

More and more technical gadgets are now connected to the internet, and cars are no exception. However, the new reality raises questions about security, and from the Swedish side, an initiative is now being launched to combat cybercrime in the car industry through the government research institute Rise.

“We see a great need (for action), in regards to cyber-attacks in general and solving challenges related to the automotive industry’s drive to make cars more and more connected, and in the long run, perhaps even self-driving,” Rise chief Pia Sandvik stated.

Modern cars now have functions that allow car manufacturers to send out software updates exactly the same way as with mobile phones.

In addition to driving data, a connected car can also collect and pass on technical information about the vehicle.

Nightmare scenario

However, all this has raised questions about risks and the worst nightmare scenario in which someone could be able to take over and remotely operate a connected car.

Sandvik points out that, generally speaking, challenges are not only related to car safety but also to the fact that the vehicle can be a gateway for various actors to get additional information about car owners.

“If you want to gain access to information or cause damage, you can use different systems, and connected vehicles are one such system. Therefore, it is important to be able to test and see if you have robust and resilient systems in place,” she said.

Ethical hackers

Initially, about 15 employees at Rise will work on what is described as “Europe’s most advanced cyber security work” regarding the automotive industry.

Among the employees, there are also so-called “ethical hackers”, i.e., people who have been recruited specifically to test the systems.

“These are hackers who are really good at getting into systems, but not with the aim of inflicting damage, but to help and contribute to better solutions,” Sandvik noted.