• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Future asylum shelter burns in suspected arson attack
File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Future asylum shelter burns in suspected arson attack

The Local · 25 Mar 2016, 14:12

Published: 25 Mar 2016 14:12 GMT+01:00

The building’s intruder alarm was activated just before the fire started - leaving police to treat the incident as arson, reports broadcaster SVT.

“The police have opened a report on severe damage [to the property] and have filed the incident as an act of arson,” Mikael Eriksson, chief officer with Sörmland Police, told SVT.

The fire, which broke out at 2.45am on Friday, was extinguished by firefighters but the building was left ‘severely damaged’.

Eriksson said that he expected examination of the scene to be conducted during the course of Friday.

Michael Gregebo, team leader of the emergency service unit that dealt with the blaze, told SVT that there was considerable damage caused by smoke and soot throughout the building.

“There is not so much fire damage and we have not used so much water,” said Gregebo.

“But even though the house is still standing, there is quite extensive damage. But hopefully it is not completely destroyed.”

Strängnäs councillor Monica Lindell Rylén told SVT that the burning down of the centre was ‘tragic’ for those it had been intended to help, including unaccompanied refugee children.

“The building has been empty since autumn, I think,” said Rylén. “Since then, the plan has been to turn it into a day centre and shelter for unaccompanied refugee children.

“We had applied for building permits, and had intended to look into the cost of renovation. I understand a number of people wondered what was going on - but we were planning a centre for refugee children,” continued the councillor.

Far-right arson attacks targeting shelters have surged since 2014, with at least two dozen centres reduced to ashes or damaged by fire last year. According to Eriksson, the increase in incidents resulted in police stepping up their attention on buildings used to shelter asylum seekers in December 2015.

Sweden took in a record batch of asylum seekers in 2015, receiving 163,000 applications. On Thursday, a man died from his injuries after being stabbed at asylum accommodation in the Dalarna region.

Rylén told SVT that she believed incidents such as the one in Åkers could be avoided if the public was better informed about asylum shelters and the people that use them.

Story continues below…

“They [refugees] are often all lumped together because of some thing that happened somewhere,” she said. “We should be able to give children safety and a good future life. For them to feel threatened instead is terrible.”

According to Rylén a better understanding of the ordeals suffered by refugee children is needed.

“You need to get to know them to gain an insight into their lives,” she said.

 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Police close Facebook thread after call for help derails
A file photo of police cars on Gotland not related to the article. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The Gotland Police Facebook post asking the public for information about an unprovoked attack on two boys had to be closed because the comments section spiraled out of control.

US election
What Americans in Sweden think of Trump and Clinton
The Local spoke to Americans in Sweden after the first US presidential debate. Photo: David Goldman/AP/TT

The Local spoke to four US voters based in Sweden about who they are planning on voting for in the November election, and it looks like it's complicated.

Presented by Emirates Center for Strategic Studies
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
File photo: sanjitbakshi/Flickr

As Sweden prepares to take a seat on UN Security Council next year, Abu Dhabi-based scholar and author Dr. Jamal Sanad al-Suwaidi argues for a greater UN role to fight extremist ideologies like those that fuel Isis and other terror groups.

Video
Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Should a condom be sent into space? It's the burning question some Swedes have posed. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Craig Rubadoux/AP

'We can't be sure what alien sex organs look like.'

Mum gives birth on toilet after being told to take paracetamol
File photo of a baby not related to the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A woman has described how she was told to take a painkiller when she phoned a hospital in Ystad, southern Sweden, in pain. Just moments later she gave birth to a baby in the toilet.

Indians in Sweden told to be wary of travel document scam
File photo of a man using a phone not related to the story. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Embassy of India in Stockholm has urged Indian citizens in Sweden to be wary of scammers who ask for money to fix fabricated errors in travel documents.

Swedes shell out for season's first lobster
Meet Pontus Johansson and his lobster. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Best not to look at the price tag.

Witnesses 'afraid to talk' to police about Malmö shooting
Police investigating the shooting in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Police are appealing for witnesses to a shooting which killed a man and injured three in a residential street of Malmö – but it is an uphill battle.

Opinion
Swedish leaders need to be prepared for tech challenges
Will robots take over your jobs? Photo: Eric Piermont/AP

Will your job still exist in ten years' time? How will society and businesses adapt to the advancements that are on their way?

Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape'
Tech star Tayyab Shabab, who is being threatened with deportation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish politicians are keen to talk up the country's startups – but their migration rules threaten to strangle them, argues The Local's managing editor James Savage.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,972
jobs available