Sweden has banned bags at major events such as large concerts and festivals in response to the heightened terror threat in the country.
The Swedish Police Agency says the total bag ban, which also includes sporting events, is “based on the current situation in society and the fact that the terror threat level is a four”.
The move follows the fatal shooting of two Swedish football fans last month in Brussels, three miles from the King Baudoin Stadium, in an apparent terror attack before Sweden’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Belgium.
“It is a concrete measure that will limit the possibilities of bringing objects that could pose a danger to people visiting an event,” says Per Engström, section manager for coordination at Sweden’s national operational department.
Live music trade body Svensk Live has contacted the police to establish what they mean by “larger events” in connection with the bag ban.
“By ‘larger events’, the police mean that they are events such as arena concerts or similar”
“By ‘larger events’, the police mean that they are events such as arena concerts or similar, but add that individual assessments are made where the organiser in dialogue with the police must make an assessment,” the organisation tells its members. “This means that we recommend organisers to get in touch with their respective contacts at the police to find out what applies to you. The decision has been made to avoid serious crime.”
Exceptions may be made for people who need to bring a bag into a public event for medical reasons.
The Swedish Security Service raised the terrorist threat level in August alert following a spate of Quran burnings in Sweden, which sparked protests in Muslim countries.
“Sweden has gone from being considered a legitimate target to a prioritised target for terrorist attacks,” said prime minister Ulf Kristersson at the time. “Safeguarding the freedom, safety and security of Swedish citizens – in Sweden and abroad – is the government’s single most important task. We defend our open society against those who threaten it, and we stand up for our democratic values, but we also protect ourselves.”
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