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Husby shops close in crime protest

Published torsdag 12 oktober kl 12.31
Shopowner: If you have a break in, they won't show up.
(3:06 min)
A police car in Husby centre in August.
A police car in Husby centre in August. Credit: Anders Ahlgren/SvD/TT

Shopkeepers in the Stockholm suburb of Husby are shutting their shops on Thursday in protest at what they say is the police's failure to control crime in the area. Miqdad Chowdhury, one of the organisers, says crime is escalating.

"We're talking about break-ins, armed robbery with knives and guns. They drive in with their trucks and cars and make big holes in the walls of the buildings," he tells Radio Sweden.

"It's very expensive and many of us don't have insurance, so we have to pay out of our own pockets," Chowdhury continues. 

Police classify Husby as an "especially challenged" area, but have no police station, or permanent patrols in the district. 

"It takes at least half an hour for them to turn up," says Chowdhury. "If you call because you've had a break in, they won't show up for you, they won't even take a look at any traces [evidence], or anything like that. They will leave you on your own." 

He said local shopkeepers wanted police to engage with people in Husby and establish a permanent presence. 

He said locals seemed to support the protest, which will see all shops in Husby Centrum closed for half an hour from midday. The shopkeepers mounted a similar protest in December last year. 

"Everyone I have spoken to is very positive," he said. "They say finally someone is doing something."

Local police chief of Rinkeby-Tensta-Husby, Niclas Andersson, told Swedish Radio's program Studio Ett yesterday, that the area is large, and there are many places there with problems. Andersson conceded that police perhaps haven't had enough of a presence in the center of Husby, but that they are trying.

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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