Swedish police officers are too afraid to travel to and from a new police station being built for the Muslim no-go zone of Rinkeby.
Earlier this month, it was reported that plans for the new station in Järva near the largely immigrant Muslim neighborhood of Rinkeby were on effective hold because construction companies feared workers’ safety would be jeopardized.
“Unfortunately Sweden has become a victim of its own humanity.”
“It’s too dangerous to build a police station in the area,” a number of police officers told Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT News at the time, on condition of anonymity.
“It would have to be guarded around the clock. This is because not only is there the risk of theft, but also the danger and threat to staff who will be working on the construction project,” they said, according to the SVT News report.
Now — although construction of the new station is still planned to go ahead and is slated for completion in 2019 — it is being reported that police officers are too afraid to travel to the new station by regular means and may receive special transportation to and from work.
“There is concern among the staff to work in a police station in Rinkeby,” Christoffer Ersenius, president of the local police union for the district, told Stockholm’s Mitti newspaper.
“We understand that this concern is especially about how to safely get to and from their workplace in Rinkeby. If you work in Järva, police will be recognized,” he said.
According to Mitti, police completed a risk assessment of the area which included two solutions to the inherent danger posed to officers traveling to and from work. “One suggestion is that there should be secure parking for police [officers’] private cars,” Mitti reported.
Authorities “also discussed the possibility that police will be driven to and from work from parking lots in another area,” the newspaper reported.
The extent of the danger in Rinkeby and nearby Järva is illustrated by the plans for the new police station itself. The new station will have “bullet proof windows, walls reinforced with steel, and [will be] surrounded by fences,” reported Mitti.
The station will also be designated a Skyddsobjekt — a “Protected Object” — which means it will have enhanced security measures. Photographing “Protected Objects” comes with the risk of up to one year in prison, and anyone who wishes to access the station would have to present identification and submit to body and vehicle searches.
The new, enhanced security likely has something to do with Rinkeby’s former police station, which shut down in 2014 after being attacked by rioters. It had also been attacked in 2010.
Rinkeby has seen a number of riots, the most recent of which was in February of this year, during which multiple fires were started and violence towards police got so out of hand that on February 20 it was reported that officers had to fire on rioters.
In 2016, the crew of the Australian team of “60 Minutes” was attacked in Rinkeby while trying to film for a story on the migrant crisis. “My crew and I were attacked,” said “60 Minutes” presenter Liz Hayes during the resulting episode. “We had things thrown at us, we were punched and kicked, and my cameraman was run over.”
“Unfortunately Sweden has become a victim of its own humanity,” she said. “By opening its doors and welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers from the world’s war-zones and trouble spots, the country is experience significant security issues, and it’s not alone.”