The Rosengård neighborhood in the southern Swedish city of Malmö is an immigrant enclave heavily populated by Muslims. The rescue and fire services refuse to venture into the area without a police escort, and even the police sometimes need to be heavily armed.
The article below was published today in the print edition of the major Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. Many thanks to our Swedish correspondent Freedom Fighter for the translation:
Threats increase against the police
The police station in Rosengård in Malmö came under fire last summer. No one was injured physically by the attack. Police reinforced security around the building and began a forensic examination, which showed that the shots fired at the police station came from high-caliber weapons
Police Station in Rosengård is fitted with bulletproof plates
Police in large cities are experiencing a major threat. Malmö stands out — there two police stations have been exposed to gunfire over the past year. The Rosengård station has been fitted with a bulletproof plate.
This summer an unknown perpetrator attacked the police station in Rosengård with a high-caliber weapon. The attack was the third attack on police station within the past year: in January a firebomb was thrown against a police car which was parked outside the station, and just days later another bomb detonated in the same place.
To protect staff, the management of the station in Rosengård has now set up bulletproof plate inside the windows.
“The station ahs been attacked before, but this was the first time they shot into the rooms,” said George Holmgren, Assistant Director of Rosengård police.
Malmö police chief Ulf Sempert is very concerned about the attacks:
“It is extremely serious to shoot into the room, not knowing whether there is a risk to the lives of those who are inside. We cannot see any other motive than the desire to harm those who are inside.”
In recent weeks there have been several media reports on unrest in the Malmö area. Seved is another area in Malmö where police officers have been injured in operations. In a window at the police station on David Hall square in central Malmö police found bullets that have linked to the arrested Malmö shooter’s weapon.
This trend is visible not only in Malmö. In Stockholm police are experiencing more violence and threats, even though it is far from as serious as in Malmö. In Uppsala the threats are becoming more common. In Gothenburg, internal statistics show that threats, injuries to and attacks on police officers are sharply increase today compared to three years ago. The police command say this is a result in part of the hardening climate that is rooted among gangs in the city’s poorer areas .
Per-Olof Hallin, professor of human geography at Malmö University, has written a report on conflicts in Rosengård and the police view of their work situation. According to him, one of the reasons that police officers are attacked and subjected to threats has to do with their work methods.
“When we did focus groups with adults in Rosengård, there were many who complained that they were constantly being stopped and frisked. It is possible that if the police are using these methods, even if justified, people get irritable and conflicts arise. But it’s hard to say which is the cause and which is the effect.
“The Police in Rosengård have always had a precarious staffing situation. At times the Police have been quite understaffed, and even when they have staff there has been a high turnover of employees in external services. When the entire staff transfers out in one year, it’s a sign of something wrong,” he says.
Malmö will soon two new police stations, one of them in Rosengård. The buildings were planned with recent attacks freshly in mind.
“The attacks were of course taken into account, obviously. The police have a role in the community that is appreciated by most people, but there are always those who do not like the police for various reasons; hence there is an increased threat.”