The actions of Östersund policeman Erik Näslund and his Swedish colleagues while riding the New York subway are lauded by the city’s police department. Näslund is a hero in the eyes of both the police and the general public.
But Per Thelin says it’s not such a big deal after all.
– They did what Swedish policemen do whether they are in New York or Storuman.
As a police officer, you have a duty to engage when you see a crime being committed. But if the officer is in a bar for example and has had a couple of beers, physical action is perhaps not the best way to go about it.
– Calling the nearest police station will suffice, says Thelin.
The seriousness of the offence determines how the police officer should proceed.
– If someone is very aggressive and beating another person, you have the right to step in and apply the victim’s right of self-defence.
But Swedish law is one thing and American another. The stir made by the Swedish police action is an indication of how unusual engagement by other than uniformed police is. Per Thelin is not familiar with local rules in New York:
– But I would be surprised if a private citizen isn’t allowed to help someone who is in trouble.
Even though Erik Näslund’s actions aren’t considered to be anything out of the ordinary, Per Thelin is pleased with what Näslund and his colleagues did.
– It’s a good thing that this has been noticed, and it does the Swedish police credit.