Arena hotell. Photo: Henrik Martinell/Sveriges Radio.
The Arena Hotel in Halmstad. Photo: Henrik Martinell/Sveriges Radio.

Difficult to move problematic residents at asylum homes

"It's not so easy for them to just move somebody"
5:33 min

The number of incidents involving violence and threats at accommodations for asylum seekers doubled last year compared to the year before. Experience from one centre in Halmstad found that a few asylum seekers can make an entire place feel unsafe.

During 2014, there were 148 reports about incidents of threats and violence between asylum seekers or against staff. Last year that number was up to 322, news agency TT reports.

The refugee reception centre Arena Hotel in Halmstad on the west coast of Sweden has seen how a few residents can cause a lot of problems.

Speaking with Swedish Radio's local channel in Halland, Khaled, one of the residents, expressed frustration that one man and two other problem-makers at the residence were not promptly removed.

"Everyday, three months, the same persons, the same people, and they do nothing" said Khaled. "I'm not asking them to hang them. We are 450 people, and we feel uncomfortable... unrest in the hotel because of these three persons."

Last week, the man started a fight with other residents, which ended up in him stabbing another resident with a "sharp object". Linda Andréasson is the manager of Arena Hotel in Halmstad.

"I was surprised (when I heard) about the incident," she said. "But I wasn't surprised that it was him who did it because we have had some previous problems with him."

The tenant, said Andréasson, had repeatedly broken rules, threatened staff, and started fights with other tenants. Management reported the man to police after he damaged part of the hotel's fire alarm.

Andréasson said they had filed an incident report with the Migration Agency and had requested that the man be transferred, but that the Migration Agency said it would be difficult to have the man transferred.

"We have been telling them about him, and they have said that it's hard to move him since they would just move the problem to another place," she said. "Of course that was a little bit frustrating for us. But I also understand immigration because it's not so easy for them to just move somebody like that."

Daily newspaper Hallands Posten reported that there had been 17 calls to the police about the Arena Hotel since June. Only one call is connected with the man in question. But Andréasson said another problematic resident had been calling the police and filing false reports. In general, she said, if the hotel had problems it was because of fights between asylum seekers and nothing "big."

Speaking with Hallands Posten last week, the head of the Migration Agency's local office in Halland, Bo Johannson, confirmed that the agency had tried to remove people from the hotel.

"We have received indications that there are problems with some people," he said. "To move them to another group home is just moving the problem. We have been looking for a suitable apartment."

But after the stabbing, police arrested the man and the hotel was told he would not be coming back there.

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