Calls for new law after man robbed on train tracks

2:49 min

The case of a drunk man who was robbed after he fell off a platform onto the tube train tracks, being left there, and then being run over by a train, has shocked many Swedes over the past 24 hours. Police are on the hunt for the robber, who left the man lying there after he had emptied his pockets.

As Swedish law currently stands, the theif could only be prosecuted for robbing him. The fact that he left him to be run over is not illegal here, despite the best efforts of the Christian Democrats. They want to introduce a new law, making it illegal NOT to help someone in need.

Caroline Szyber is their justice spokesperson and has been pushing for a "Good Samaritan" law to be introduced.

"We should make it a crime not to act when you see someone in danger", she told Radio Sweden, "and you should act in the way that you can. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to get into a fight, but you should call the police, at least. We think too many people today look away. They don't help the people around them."

She adds that although the threat of the law probably would not have had any impact on the case currently being discussed, "At least he would have had a stronger punishment for what he did", she says.

The Christian Democrats, one of the four centre-right parties in the coalition government, have long been pushing for a "Good Samaritan" law, and a proposal was put out for consultation. However, reaction to the proposal was mixed, and it is now being "dealt with" by the justice ministry.

Many say there are too many "grey areas" involved in a samaritan law, making it difficult to implement. But Caroline Szyber says similar worries were expressed when the ban on smacking children was introduced in Sweden several decades ago.

"Today we see that this is a grey area, but in the end we want people to see the people in need around them, and help them in the way they can."

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