As inter-ethnic street battles in the city of Malmö increase, officials at Sweden’s police academies are expressing distress that almost the entire intake of officer cadets are now native Swedes.
In a shift which could be emblematic of the hardening attitude between Swedes and immigrants, the number of ‘foreign born’ entrants to police training has fallen from old highs of fifteen-per-cent to as low as five-per-cent, reports TheLocal.se. Betty Rohdin, head of education at Växjö academy expressed her concern at the change, and the difficulties it had caused her at work. She said:
“I have been here since we started in 2001 and we have had some groups where we’ve reached almost 15 percent.
“When you had international visitors you could send round an email asking ‘can anyone help me interpret to Arabic?’ and you got seven responses. Nowadays there is hardly anyone who can help.”
The police forces of many Western countries are under great political pressure to field police officers who are representative of the demographic make-up of the areas they patrol.
In countries like the United Kingdom, discrimination in police recruitment is illegal – but recruiters have found convenient ways to work around the law. London’s Metropolitan Police changed the recruitment criteria this year to make it all but impossible for the majority of native Brits to consider a career in the police by introducing a second language requirement.
Although almost all British school children learn French and another modern foreign language, typically Spanish or German, very few will have learnt the new recruitment languages. The force now requires any applicant be fluent in languages including Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala, Spanish, Turkish, and Yoruban.
Many policing professionals believe to effectively police migrant communities, the officers deployed there must come from the same background, yet despite it being the third most spoken language in London, Somali didn’t manage to find its way onto the list. Despite Chinese tourists being one of the most common victims of crime in London, Mandarin isn’t included either.
One of the largest police operations presently underway in Sweden is in the multicultural warzone Malmö, where warring ethnic gangs are making the most of a glut of smuggled Balkan grenades to attack each other. Despite a growing police presence, the violence isn’t abating, and at least one Syrian migrant has told local media that living in the town now reminds him of home.