The poll conducted by the pollster Novus on behalf of Swedish Television News (SVT) found 63 percent of Swedes say they have “high confidence” in the police following last week’s attack – a 19 point increase in just two months.
In January, when the latest poll was taken, 44 percent expressed faith in the police, while over a third of respondents described their confidence in the police as low.
Novus CEO Torbjörn Sjöström told SVT the considerable bump in approval ratings is clearly related to Friday’s terrorist attack, which left four people dead and dozens injured.
He said it mattered the perpetrator was caught within hours of the attack, because it shows police are on top of things when things get really serious - at least that’s the way people see it.
“Whether it lasts is a different matter,” Sjöström added.
Marie Peltola, a police officer working in the Stockholm neighbourhood of Södermalm, says the appreciation and gratitude that people are showing in wake of the attack has been both palpable and moving.
“People just want to talk and share their stories and thoughts. We’ve even cried together and I’m thinking that’s ok, we’re all human beings here,” she told Swedish Radio.
Peltola was working on Friday and admits she felt despondent as news of the attack sunk in, but added people’s reactions have since lifted her spirits and strengthened her resolve.
“I suppose I kind of lost hope, to be completely honest. But today I feel like, no that’s not right. Because love conquers all, and that’s a fact,” she said.