Sweden's police commissioner Dan Eliasson expects "even more trouble". Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
Swedish police have had to act on more than 5,000 incidents concerning asylum accommodation and other issues concerning migrants since October, according to figures obtained by a Swedish newspaper.
The Dagens Nyheter newspaper recently revealed that the police have designated a special code, R291, for incidents involving asylum seekers and refugees, allowing them to keep tabs on how last autumn’s record influx of asylum seekers into the country has affected their work.
According to SvD's collation of all R291 cases
, police have been called out to no fewer than 559 registered assaults, 450 fights, 194 cases of violent threats, 58 fires, two bomb threats, nine robberies and four rapes, all involving recently arrived asylum seekers.
“The unrest in asylum accommodation is something that requires more and more of us,” Sweden’s police commissioner Dan Eliasson told SvD
after the figures were released. “I am concerned about these developments. I fear that there may be even more trouble, I think the trend points in that direction. If we analyze this carefully, there is an increasing problem.”
As well as the violent crimes, there were 37 cases of attempted suicide, 42 cases of people reported as “mentally ill”, 96 missing persons, and three deaths.
Eliasson said the pressure on the Swedish authorities, and the experiences of newly arrived migrants was a recipe for unrest.
“There is a difficult accommodation situation for many people, it’s crowded, some people bring with them the baggage of traumatic events. There can be various disagreements between the groups.”
The the Swedish police’s National Operations Department (NOA) introduced the code in October at the peak of Sweden’s refugee crisis when as many as 10,000 new asylum seekers were registering in the country every week.
At the time police saw a surge in the number of call-outs to crimes of violence, arson and intimidation at asylum centres.
The code coveres all cases “involving migrant situation”, including cases where asylum seekers are victims or perpetrators of crimes.