In Sweden, the Police Issued a Plea to Citizens Not To Use Replica Weapons in Their Halloween Costumes
Authorities have urged those preparing Halloween costumes not to include replica weapons, as this could lead to potentially dangerous situations, especially in light of recent incidents in the country.
As NRK reported, this warning applies to all individuals, regardless of age, including children.
According to Johnny Gustafsson, a police officer in the Öst region, there has been a growing trend over the past few years, but lately, it has become particularly noticeable that criminals are attempting to use children for violent acts. As a result, people have become more vigilant.
"If you're planning to celebrate Halloween, remember not to appear in public with items resembling weapons. In this context, citizens have become more watchful to prevent further acts of violence and to report them to the police. Such reports are taken seriously and can even be risky for those who choose to dress up this way," the Swedish police statement said.
It's worth noting that Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced that starting from March 2024, new measures to combat crime in the country will include special search zones in cities, where law enforcement officers will be authorized to conduct personal searches of citizens.
In 2015, a young man dressed as Darth Vader carried out an attack at a school in Trollhättan, Sweden. The 21-year-old, Anton Lundin Pettersson, was revealed to hold right-wing extremist views. He was armed with a sword and targeted students and teachers who crossed his path, resulting in injuries to three individuals and the death of one teacher and one student. Pettersson was injured by the police and later died in the hospital.
Some children initially mistook him for a participant in Halloween celebrations. Several photos were published in which schoolchildren stood next to the attacker, whose sword displayed dark stains. According to local reports, Pettersson took pictures with light-skinned students, whom he did not want to harm, and only attacked people of "non-European" appearance.
Following the attack, some educational institutions in the country either canceled Halloween parties or prohibited participants from concealing their faces with masks.
Just last week, the London police faced criticism for their excessively forceful handling of a 13-year-old boy, who had a water pistol.
The boy had engaged in a "water fight" with his younger brother on July 19, during which a patrol officer reported a possible use of firearms. A special unit was dispatched to the scene, and its officers surrounded the boy, pointed weapons at him, and detained him.
As previously reported by The Gaze, Sweden's state agency responsible for promoting tourism in the country launched a campaign to prevent confusion between Sweden and Switzerland.