Midsummer Day brings usual mix of fun and violence

sunIn Finland, the weather was soggy, grey and chilly for the Midsummer Day festivities. This apparently dampened the enthusiasm of boaters both at sea and on the nation’s lakes, where coast guards reported far fewer drunken revellers than expected. During ramped-up harbour patrols in Helsinki and Kirkkonummi, all but one of the passengers of the 120 boats the police inspected were wearing their required life vests, and no one was recklessly drunk.

In Sweden it was another story, as one man was stabbed to death and several others suffered knife wounds during a fight near the town of Borgholm. “To say the least, this is a mess. A lot of youth were on Oland to celebrate Midsummer and this was a fight between rival gangs. Knives were involved, one person died and several are injured,” Alf Jacobsson of the Kalmar police told the TT news agency.

Gothenburg also saw its celebrations marred by the predictable public drunkenness and fights, but no one was seriously injured. The southern Swedish region of Skane reported that its violence was mainly limited to campsites and private parties. It seems this year Swedes preferred to do their partying outdoors.

Again, the weather was the determining factor in how crazy things got. The central Swedish town of Dalarna was calm due to lousy weather. “In Leksand, where we normally have trouble, things were calm and we have had a lot of officers out,” said Kent Link of the Dalarna police to SIKUnews.

In Stockholm, Jens Martensson of the city’s police department said it felt like a regular weekend. “Of course we’ve had a lot to do, but I had expected much worse. The city centre has been the most calm,” he commented, relieved.

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