Swedish swimming pool 'vigilante' patrols accused of neo-Nazi links

The group's co-founder received a suspended prison sentence for taking part in a neo-Nazi attack last year

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The co-founder of a "groping guard" patrolling swimming pools in Sweden is reportedly under a suspended prison sentence for taking part in a neo-Nazi attack last year, it has been reported.

Robert Banderby received the sentence for carrying a knife and violent rallying, after he and other activists from the neo-Nazi Swedish Resistance Movement attacked anti-racist protestors, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The "Tafsvakten", which roughly translates to "groping guard", was founded by Siri Bernhardsson in the city of Kalmar.

She claimed women are becoming too afraid to visit the city's leisure centre.

Siri Bernhardsson, 24, set up the Tafsvakten group

“It cannot be right that women and families should be too intimidated to go to the swimming pool, of all places. It's not a dark alley or scary nightclub," the group's founder, Siri Bernhardsson, told the Kvällsposten newspaper.

The 24-year-old has been accused of vigilantism, racism and xenophobia, as well as inciting hate towards more than 160,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Sweden last year. 

The pool's manager, Susanne Gryfelt, did not welcome the intervention. 

Saying she had received no reports of women or families feeling too afraid to swim, she added: "We do not want individuals to come in and act as lifeguards, that is our job."

Sweden has the highest number of refugees per capita in Europe and is known for its humanitarian policies, but it is now planning to deport tens of thousands of asylum seekers after introducing border controls and slashing benefits.

Police across Europe have warned against the rise of vigilante groups, which have been linked to attacks on refugees in some areas.