This Swedish police officer's warning to parents went viral for a good reason 5 years ago

This Swedish police officer's warning to parents went viral for a good reason

Ever had your child act up so much (as in drive you up the walls and back down again to such an extent) that you threaten them with the Gardai? 

Or more like used it as an incentive; as in: "If you don't put your seat belt on right now, the Gardai will come and get you."

I know I probably have at some stage.

However, Swedish police officer Emil Kågström recently took to his local police district's Facebook page with a post that has since been shared by thousands of parents.

In the post Kågström warns parents about using the police as a threat to children, such as saying things like "If you don't behave now, the police will come and get you."

"Despite it not being the parents' intent, this will only make the children feel ashamed and scared of the police," Kågström warns. "They will start to see the police as something negative."

To Swedish newspaper Expressen Kågström explains that it is important that children know and understand the function a police officer actually has. "They should know that the police are here to help and protect, and to make them feel safe."


The officer uses an example of instances where it can actually be dangerous if a child is scared of the police.

"For instance, if we are looking for a child that is lost somewhere, and the police are called in to help with the search, what you don't want, is for that child to hear the police calling their name and get scared and hide," Kågström explains. "Maybe they think the police are angry with them for wandering off and this can make it harder to actually find the child and bring it home safely."

As well as this, the officer thinks being frightened of the police can also make it harder to get children to talk if they for instance have had something criminal happen to them, be it an assault or something else.

"You don't want your child to be scared to talk to the police, you want them to know they can, and that the police will always help them if something is wrong."

The Swede is quick to point out that he doesn't think parents are threatning their children with the police to actually frighten their children, but has good intentions at heart.

"It's great that you want them to eat their vegetables or put their seatbelt on, but while using the police as a threat might get the job done on the day, it could end up having more serious consequenses in the long run."