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Police ill-equipped to handle terrorist attack

Published fredag 27 november 2015 kl 13.51
"It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt armed only with a pea-shooter and clothing made of zebra meat".
(1:54 min)
Police say they are ill prepared to deal with a terror attack. Photo: Björn Lindgren/Svanpix/TT
Police say they are ill prepared to deal with a terror attack. Photo: Björn Lindgren/Svanpix/TT

Several police officers warn that they do not have the proper equipment and training to deal with a terrorist attack.

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, and the recent heightened suspicion of a terror attack in Sweden, special police guards are keeping a close eye on a number of buildings which could be a target.

Several police officers working on the streets have contacted an internal system inside the police force to report on the perceived shortcomings in training, equipment and the weapons that they can access.

Swedish Radio News has taken part in several of these anonymous testimonies. One claimed that there is no "possibility to be able to act against this type of terrorist threat with the equipment that we are sent out with." Another police officer writes that "it feels like being sent out on a lion hunt armed only with a pea-shooter and clothing made of zebra meat".

Roger Alvefuhr was until 2010 head of the Swedish police weaponry and protective equipment unit at the National Police, and he agrees that the police are very poorly equipped to deal with a terrorist attack.

"If we now take a hypothetical case where something occurs similar to that which occurred in France, then you are left with too weak protective equipment and not powerful enough weapons. It is not just the police who are threatened by it, the police will intervene to protect society and citizens. And it's hard when one does not have the right things," says Roger Alvefuhr.

Stefan Hector manages the national police operations department, and responds to the criticism.

"Now we see a time where we have a heightened terror threat level, which perhaps will continue. It could very well mean that we need to review the way we train and equip ourselves," says Stefan Hector.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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