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Swedish police officer causes controversy with Facebook post

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Swedish police officer causes controversy with Facebook post
Peter Springare, the police officer who published the Facebook post. Photo: Petter Koubek/TT
11:27 CET+01:00
A Swedish police officer has caused controversy after he made a Facebook post claiming that the majority of the cases he deals with in a week come from people whose country of origin is not Sweden, leading to an internal police investigation of him, and even provoking Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to respond.

In the post, Peter Springare lists what he claims to be the countries of origin and names of those he dealt with while carrying out preliminary investigations of suspected crimes in Örebro, noting that what he posted "is not politically correct" but that he "doesn't give a shit".

"Suspected perpetrators: Ali Mohamad, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed, Ali, again, again, again, Christoffer… what, is it true? Yes, a Swedish name sneaked its way in on the fringes of a drug related crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again," Springare wrote.

"Countries which represent all of the week's crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown country, unknown country, Sweden," he added. Springare then promised to make new posts on the subject every week.

A report has since been filed by police management accusing Springare of racial agitation (hets mot folkgrupp) and he is now subject to an internal investigation. He is still employed by the police while the investigation is ongoing.

READ ALSO: Sweden's 2016 crime stats analyzed

Springare's Facebook post has been shared over 18,000 times and led to more than 6,000 comments in response. Many of his subsequent posts have also received a high number of comments and shares.

On Tuesday, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven challenged the police officer's claims.

"I don't know how it looks in Örebro, but from a broader perspective I find it very difficult to see that one hundred percent of police resources are taken up by crimes which are committed by immigrants. I have a very, very hard time accepting that picture, I want to state that it is wrong," he told newspaper Expressen.

Asked if police officers should be allowed to express their opinions in this way, Löfven said freedom of expression is important.

"Police officers like all others are allowed to express their opinions, we have freedom of expression in our country, and we should stand up for that. But providing an accurate image also applies."

Sweden does not record official statistics on the ethnicity of criminals.  

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