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Police officer assaulted by gang in central southern Sweden

A police officer was assaulted by a gang in central southern Sweden on Wednesday evening after a patrol was called out to deal with a fight.

Police officer assaulted by gang in central southern Sweden
Two members of the group have been apprehended for violence against a public servant. File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The injured officer had to stay in hospital overnight after being hit several times on the face and upper body. 

“From what I understand, the injuries aren't too serious,” Ulf Andersson from the town's police station told TT, but he was unable to give any further details about the officer's condition.

Police were called to a transport centre in central Skövde at around 8.45 pm on Wednesday after receiving reports of a group of young people behaving disruptively.

“We sent officers there and the first patrol that arrived was met with resistance, above all from two members of the group. It ended with one of the officers being assaulted and it's being treated as violence against a public servant,” said Morten Gunneng, the inspector on duty.

The second patrol which arrived at the scene was also attacked by the gang, and the unrest was only stopped when further officers arrived.

Two people aged between 30 to 35 have been apprehended for violence against a public servant, and a further two have been called in for questioning. It is still unclear what the argument was about.

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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