UK Foreign Office issues warning over Stockholm riots

The UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a warning to British travellers to Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, regarding a recent sequence of riots.

For their own safety, visitors have been advised to avoid any large gatherings, take extra care when commuting around the city and to monitor local news reports. The advice comes in the wake of consecutive nights of rioting in some parts of the city, which started last Sunday.

The problem areas include Husby, Hagsatra, Ragsved amd Skogas, according to the FCO, which also reminded visitors that the emergency services number in Sweden is 112, should they need to contact it.

Local police have told the BBC that the unrest has spread as the week has gone on and that to date as many as 40 cars and a restaurant have been burnt out.

The catalyst for the unrest appears to have been the shooting dead last week of an elderly man who had allegedly threatened police with a machete. Trouble then broke out on Sunday evening in the deprived and mainly immigrant area of Husby, a northwestern suburb. The worst of the subsequent rioting, however, was in the southern part of the city, where between 10 and 20 cars were burnt out, while 10 attacks on cars took place in the northwest.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s prime minister, has appealed for calm in the capital and issued a statement on Wednesday, saying, ‘It’s important to remember that burning your neighbour’s car is not an example of freedom of speech, it’s hooliganism.’

Last year over half a million UK residents visited Sweden, and the FCO said that most visitors had a trouble-free stay.