On September 19th 2012 I visited the main police station here in Malmoe called Gasklockan/ the Gasometer. I had listened to a media meeting at the police station and was then invited to discuss police work, crime prevention and attitudes in society with two Detective Inspectors. I did it as a novelist to improve my story writing. I wanted to make my third story perfect and continue with my fourth in a realistic way. Since I have respect for the police profession and realize the importance of having a police force to keep some kind of law and order at least, this was a natural step.
However, apart from my story writing I want to see improvements in society, and to make that happen many changes have to be made both here and there. We have our laws and regulations, but the laws are guidelines and sometimes one law contradicts another, or is interpreted differently in various cases. We are supposed to be equally treated, but the reality proves otherwise. Therefore the underlying attitudes must be improved in all parts of society.
The laws are important, but we, the citizens, also must help the police and each other keeping our society safer, while civil servants within the judiciary system, e.g. police officers, have to enhance their knowledge and skills to improve the situation.
The police also has received criticism for being too slow, having misogyn or sexist attitudes, being too hard on people with immigrant background, and the REVA project e.g. where the border police stops people in town checking if they “look like” immigrants/illegal refugees has for natural reasons provoked lots of anger. The police force need more police officers of both sexes and various ethnic and social backgrounds to improve the older “macho” and prejudiced attitudes. Detective Inspector Jeanette Larsson here in Malmoe was last year also harshly treated by her police bosses after publicly having revealed racist formulations in internal education material, harassments of lesbian police officers and victims as well as sexual harassments of female cleaning ladies from a high-ranking police officer. I met her several times in 2011 and she’s a marvellous person. At the same time as she was punished by her bosses she was elected “this month’s hero/heroine” in March 2012 by the free newspaper “City”, and now she’s been chosen as “heroine of the year”.
I have noticed a confrontative attitude between certain groups in society and police officers, a lack of dialogue and mutual understanding. I believe that e.g. left-wingers, ex-cons and youngsters on the brink of becoming criminals ought to try to understand the police officers’ situation, but also the other way round. That more police officers tried to understand the provocative and bad idea to treat someone as criminal, simply because he or she “looks foreign”, and how that treatment may lead to a negative vicious circle of hatred and crime.
The police has many things to deal with – no doubt, but their job is still very important and they are many times dealing with the darker sides of our society – and they have many times a frustrating task. They have made improvements to get to organized criminals, preventing domestic violence etc. In many respects the police make a difference and are everyday heroes, even if they have many improvements to make.
Here in Malmoe many measures have been taken in recent years to make the situation better. We will never see a perfect situation, since humanity is what it is, but all measures taken together can make a difference if we co-operate and try to make changes individually. I will here mention some of the important centra that exist if you have been victim of a crime or want to take a stand yourself.
If you want to inform the police about a crime you can call: 114 14 or e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a woman who has been beaten, threatened, violated etc, here’s some info:
Kvinnojuren Malmoe: 040-30 11 13, Tjejjouren, 020-51 01 50
FemCenter: 020-55 55 25, 040-23 87 00, http://www.femcenter.se,
If you’re victim of honor violence, crime and abuse: email@example.com, http://www.malmo.se/hedersvald.
If you need legal counseling, are in some sort of crisis or feel threatened Plattform Malmö might be an important support. Look at
Plattform Malmö 040-34 05 50, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.malmo.se/plattformmalmo.
If you want to help the police but have no police education you might become a voluntary worker. You find more info at http://www.polisen.se/voluntariskane.se
These are just a few examples. Good luck.
Anders Moberg, February the 19th 2013