Swedish cops bask in Gangnam Style viral glow

A Gangnam Style-inspired announcement about traffic safety that went viral on Facebook has thrust a humble group of Swedish police officers into the spotlight, making them our pick for Swede(s) of the Week.

Swedish cops bask in Gangnam Style viral glow

“The idea was to promote traffic safety in a fun way and maybe attract a few visitors to our Facebook page,” Mikael Nykänen of the Höör police told the Expressen newspaper.

Colleagues of Nykänen, who heads the police station in the rather sleepy community of about 8,000 residents in southern Sweden, teamed up with counterparts from neighbouring stations in Eslöv and Hörby to produce a traffic safety film inspired by South Korean pop artist Psy’s 2012 megahit.

SEE ALSO: Swedish firemen turn up the heat in Harlem Shake video ‘shocker’

While hype surrounding the original Gangnam Style video, which has garnered more than one billion views on YouTube, may have passed its peak, that didn’t stop this rag-tag band of Swedish officers from riding the K-pop wave with their own version of the song, Kör i säker style (‘Driving safely style’).

“This is our challenge and appeal to you that you should drive safely so that you arrive safely,” read the description accompanying the video when it was posted on Wednesday to the official Facebook page of the police force of Ringsjöbygden, the collective name for the three town’s police operations.

Apparently, Swedes got the message, with the short video being shared more than 26,000 times and garnering nearly 30,000 shares in less than a day of being posted by Joel & Jonas the two officers behind the video who so far wish to be known only by their first names.

“We thought a lot of people would see it, but not this many,” Nykänen told Expressen.

While some of the 2,500 commenters voiced criticism over the film, alleging that it came too late and that the officers’ time should be spent fighting crime rather than dancing in front of a camera, Nykänen insisted reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly positive.

He added that it was shot and produced outside of official working hours.

Speaking with the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper, local police chief Patrik Isacsson explained that the idea for the video was hatched several months ago when the Facebook page of the Ringsjöbygden police was launched.

Isacsson signed off on the production, allowing the officers behind the film to use official police uniforms and vehicles, and saw the finished product just before it was posted, calling it “professional with good content”.

He added that he and his colleagues are still feeling their way forward with social media, having joined the ranks of several other local police precincts that have taken to Facebook and Twitter to engage with the public.

SEE ALSO: A list of The Local’s past Swedes of the Week

“Things don’t always have to be so formal; sometimes it’s okay to be a bit light-hearted,” he told the newspaper.

Meanwhile Nykänen, who didn’t appear in the video posted on Wednesday, hinted that the Gangnam Style-inspired video may not be the last one produced by the Ringsjöbygden police video production duo of Joel & Jonas.

“It seems like they’re planning something. They wanted to wait and see what happened with this one, but now when things have gone so well, there will probably something similar,” he told Expressen.

English translation of Kör i säker style lyrics

Driving safely style

When you’re driving safely you must think of those around you

We’ll be sure the law is followed, we’ll let honesty surround you

Whatever car you may be driving

Be clear in what you do

Use your blinkers

Drive at legal speeds, be nice to others, and leave enough distance to one another

On the roads you’ll be sure to get there, there, there, there

Driving safely style

Editor’s Note: The Local’s Swede of the week is someone in the news who – for good or ill – has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

The Local/dl

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”