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Swedish police will be allowed to use tear gas more often as the society get more violent

Sunday, 29 January 2012
From February 1 the rules on how the Swedish police use tear gas and pepper spray will changed. The rules for pepper spray, tear gas in the past was tightened but now it may relaxed to be used outdoors.

"One get to use it in certain situations," says Per Engstrom at the Swedish National Police to radio Sweden.

Not long agon after the violent demonstrations and destruction in London, there has been growing debate there to arm the police more and give the police more power even to use ammunitions. In many other countries it is common for police using tear gas to disperse excited demonstrators or rowdy crowds.

But in Sweden, tear gas has only been allowed to be used indoors, for example, to get people who barricaded themselves in an apartment to release. But that will change as the police reform see that the police should be given more power here to use such weapon on certain individuals.

“The use of tear gas outdoors, thas not been permitted at all, and that's what we are regulating now – that the police  may use it in certain situations, said Per Engstrom, director of the National Police Board's crime prevention department to radio Sweden.

From February 1st new rules will come on that will allow tear gas to be used when special police tactics are deployed to control rowdy crowd. Possible scenarios are during demonstrations and football matches.

“It's really hard to say when this might be used, but we've incorporated a number of levels of decision making so that we ensure this should be done in a very real way,” says Per Engstrom.

Unlike tear gas, pepper spray has been used outside by the police. After a criticism by the Swedish justice ombudsman, (JO) on its use some time ago, it now faces a reviewed use and application with a restrictive provision for police use. Per Engstrom mention a few situations that are considered inappropriate, for example inside vehicles and by jail staff.

Recently, Sweden has seen increase crowd disturbances in football matches and far right clashed with anti far right groups.
By Scancomark.se Team

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