Even in the metropolitan melting pot of Stockholm, fewer than twenty percent of police officers are women, even fewer have a non-European background, and there is a negative attitude towards gay people. And the former head of Stockholm County Police told Svenska Dagbladet that this has to change.
“The police force should reflect society’s diversity, and right now it doesn’t,” said Gunno Gunnmo.
Gunnmo has suggested that the task of selecting recruits is taken from the police authority, and handed to police training colleges. This, he says, is intended to create a selection system based on a wider range of criteria, replacing the current system, which is turning out “standard police: Swedish-speaking, broad-shouldered and middle class.”
It’s not just Stockholm in which native Swedes dominate the police. In Malmö a quarter of inhabitants have immigrant backgrounds, yet the number of immigrants in the police is negligible. Tuesday’s DN reported that one major problem for immigrants was that all recruits need to pass a Swedish test to get into police college.
Now Skåne police have started running a course to help immigrants prepare for the entrance test. Yet one suspects that some people on the course are not really the type of immigrants that the course set out to help.
Nannel Blanck, the Swedish-born daughter of German parents, had applied to police college before and passed the language test, but had been turned down after failing the physical test. Nonetheless, she thought the course was helping.
“It’s great,” she told DN, “especially when the police come here and talk about their work.”
One chap who sounds like he would make a splendid policeman is Johan Vitsas. On his way home from work, reported DN, Johan noticed that the car in front of him was being driven erratically. So he did what any responsible citizen would do, and called the police. He then kept following the vehicle until it banged into something, at which point he jumped out of his car, and took the drunken driver’s keys off him.
“I just did it instinctively,” he told the paper. “The police didn’t say I should stop him, but it felt right. I didn’t hit him or anything, although if he had started anything, I’d have acted in self-defence.”
Now the police are hoping to create more drink-driving vigilantes. They’ve set up a hotline for people to snitch on their colleagues, family and friends in an attempt to reduce the number of people killed on the roads.
“We get a lot of calls from people on the road, who suspect that someone is drink driving” a Stockholm Police spokesman told DN, “but we also get calls from family, friends and colleagues who see alcohol abuse and don’t know what to do.”
Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet