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Klarabergsviadukten i Stockholm och genrebild polis.
There will be more police officers than usual in Stockholm this weekend. Foto: Tomas Oneborg / TT

Police on high alert following anti-refugee actions

Police and social services in Stockholm will be on high alert this weekend following last week’s assaults on migrant children in the Swedish capital.

There will be more police officers than usual on the streets of Stockholm over the weekend, and more social service officers, too. The move is a precautionary measure in response to events last Friday, when a group of men dressed in black and wearing balaclavas handed out leaflets urging members of the public to take action against "North African street children".

Speaking to Swedish Radio News, Stockholm police spokesman Lars Byström said the police force aims to maintain order and safety on the streets of Stockholm.

Several investigations are underway after Friday's incident, with those involved suspected of knife crime, assaulting an officer and conspiring to carry out aggravated assault,

One witness told Swedish Radio News that a male minor of foreign background was attacked and beaten, but that incident has not been reported to the police.

Police are still investigating who was part of the group and so far know that some are linked to football houligans. This apparently follows a pattern from other European countries.

 “We are looking into whether there are video clips that can help the investigation and a few searches have been carried out,” Byström told Swedish Radio News.

On Saturday, the day after the incendiary leaflets were handed out, an anti-immigration demo was held in central Stockholm. Three people with links to right-wing extremist groups were arrested on suspicion of assault but they were later released.

Social services have also boosted their staff numbers this weekend. Youth officers are usually out at night to support young people in trouble, but this weekend the staff will be more focused on security and are also in contact with the police.

Normally, the officers focus on coming into contact with the parents of troubled youths, but when it comes to unaccompanied migrant children, the approach is different, says Mikael Jeppson, who is head of the Stockholm youth services, explaining that social service officers cooperate with care homes and residences that house refugee children

"Our work is both about informing the homes about what the situation is like out there and to let them know they can get in touch with us,” said Jeppson

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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