Malmö police were too busy to spend much time watching the fireworks over the Twisting Torso. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
“There has been a lot to do. A lot of assaults at private parties, rockets being fired, damage carried out. It’s been pub-related, alcohol-related, New-Year’s-Eve-related,” Johan Ljung from the police in Western Sweden told the TT news wire.
In Western Sweden alone, there were more than 50 cases of youth shooting rockets at police, the rescue services, or public transport.
At close to the strike of midnight, a suspected hand grenade was thrown at a police station in Katrineholm, 150km southwest of Stockholm, shattering the station’s entry door and window, and damaging four cars parked outside.
At around 5.30am, Malmö police shot a 28-year-old man wielding an axe and a knife, after being called to the scene because someone was “feeling bad”.
“When the patrol arrived they found the man intimidating, which led to one of the officers firing shots,” Fredrik Bratt, from the Malmö police. The man was hit twice in the leg and is now being treated in hospital.
In the city's troubled Rosengård district emergency services called to a skip which had been set on fire were pelted with powerful bangers by youths, forcing them to call in police support.
“We have decided that in the less serious situations, where there’s no risk of the fire spreading or if there are no lives to be saved, the police will go ahead of us,” Mattias Sköld, from the local rescue services said.
A rocket also flew into an apartment near the city's Möllevångstorget square, but no one was was injured.
In the city of Örebro, youth fired rockets at police and at apartment buildings, with five minors seized by police and taken home to their parents. One of the fireworks sailed through a window and exploded in someone’s kitchen.
“The person was in another room at the time, but it’s only really luck that no one was hurt,” Fredrik Bäcker from the Örebro police said.
A man in Mölndal outside Gothenburg was shot in the eye by a rocket by youths after he approached them to ask them to stop setting off bangers.
“He says that he tried to ask the youths to stop shooting rockets and throwing bankers but they turned onk him and instead shot off a rocket which hit him in the eye,” the local police said on their website. “The prognosis is unclear.”
There were also attacks against women during the night. Three men between 16 and 25 arrested in Åtvidaberg in Östergötland for allegedly raping a teenage girl.
A woman was also found injured by several stab wounds in the west coast town of Landskrona. Police have arrested a man associated with her in connection with the crime.