Swedish Politicians Destroy the Country, Blame the PoliceSwedish police are "so bloody idle" - Ringholm
In what he thought was private chat with a colleague on Monday evening, Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister, Bosse Ringholm, called the country's police force "so bloody idle". The frank statement about the police came after a telephone interview with the programme Nyheterna on the theme of illegal gambling machines. During the interview itself, Ringholm said that the police are doing what they can in the fight against illegal gambling. After the interview Ringholm let slip a somewhat different view of the Swedish police. The telephone line was still connected and TV4 continued to record what he was saying. In a sequence lasting almost three minutes, Ringholm was heard discussing the police's competence with a colleague. "You can see if you go into a tobacconist here in Stockholm. Many of them have a curtain - try to go behind that curtain and you'll see what they have there. It's usually an illegal gambling machine," he said. "It isn't any harder for the local policeman to go in and check it, but they don't. They are so bloody idle." Ringholm was also heard describing a policeman who provided details of the number of illegal gambling machines as "an idiot" and he went on to say that the police "prioritise doing nothing, so that they do nothing wrong".
Sweden has witnessed a shocking rise in all kinds of violent crime in recent years. However, funding for the police has not increased significantly. Sweden has only half the number of policemen per capita compared to the EU average, which could already be too low. Every French policeman has 89 reported criminal acts to deal with. Every Swedish policeman has 254. No wonder the Swedish police feel unmotivated to fight rising crime:
Swedish Police "Unmotivated" to Fight Rising Crime
Gangs of 14 - 15-year-olds raping and robbing is now common in many Stockholm suburbs. Mafia networks demanding protecting money from private businesses and giving bomb threats to municipal workers are increasingly common. Organized crime is no longer just a problem in the major cities. It has now spread throughout most of Sweden.
There has been little official, political reaction to the fact that the control of the city of Södertälje now seems to be in the hands of violent gangs of immigrants:
Sweden: Shots fired at police station
Two civilian women were in the police station. They were being questioned about a reported harrassment earlier in the day, which had been the background to the rioting. The women had called the police and reported that they had been harrassed in the shop where they work. Police refused to reveal details of their allegations, because questioning had been broken off by the gunfire, but three young men who had been identified by the women were suspected of making illegal threats. The three men were released in the evening, but the arrests had provoked strong reactions among 20-35 other youths in the area. The group advanced on the police and attacked them with stones.
However, the political leaders are aware of how bad the situation is:
Police to Hire More Bodyguards
According to Sweden’s intelligence services, SÄPO, the police plan to hire more bodyguards to protect politicians before next year’s election. Experts say politicians are increasingly at risk of attack here, where ministers and lawmakers are often seen mingling with the public without security. Protection for politicians was beefed up after the deadly stabbing of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003. But the government has allocated US $2.73 million to improve security even more ahead of the elections in September 2006. The head of SÄPO, Klas Bergenstrand, told Swedish Radio in an interview that besides more bodyguards ”the extra money will be used to analyze the threats, to inform, give advice, maybe for educational purposes and conferences and meetings with representatives of the political parties.”