Förstärkt Regional Insatsstyrka (English: Reinforced Regional Task Force), prior officially known as Piketen is a SWAT team and special operations asset of the Swedish Police Authority. Piketen is called upon when situations occur that are too dangerous for ordinary police to handle such as hostage situations, serving high-risk arrest warrants and confronting armed criminals.
The National Task Force (Swedish: Nationella insatsstyrkan, NI), is the counter terrorism unit of Sweden which is organized within the National Operations Department of the Swedish Police Authority. It is meant to handle extraordinarily difficult or life-threatening criminal situations, such as terrorism, hostage situations, armed kidnapping and serving high risk arrest warrants in cities too remote for Piketen in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö to handle. It also deals with emergency rescue situations that would be too dangerous or difficult for other police units or emergency services.
The tasks performed between Piketen and the NTF often blur since their duties are similar.
The main task for Piketen is dangerous situations in dangerous environments, e.g. hostage situations and situations including armed dangerous suspects. Other tasks are riot control, escorting VIP’s/objects of value and serving high-risk arrest warrants etc.
Piketen are stationed in the three largest cities of Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö but can by request be put to use nationwide all over Sweden. Smaller forces of similar quality are available in police regions Bergslagen, Middle, East and North, often times having similar selection and training. Officers in these units normally don’t operate in the intervention capacity full time, but the normal patrolling on a daily basis.
Piketen spends about 30% of its time on training, which is mainly focused on high-risk intervention. For example; one or multiple dangerous perpetrators in rural terrain or in an urban environment and perpetrators in houses or vehicles (also including hostage rescue). Such dangerous interventions require a lot of advanced tactical training. The unit strives to resolve any given situation as calmly as possible to avoid injury or loss of life and uses highly trained negotiators when tactically possible. Circumstances dictate whether officers operate in uniform or civilian clothing. Piketen mostly make use of unmarked civilian vehicles or special assault vehicles.
The units officers are well-trained in different methods of entry, such as rappelling and door breaching. They also receive training in close target reconnaissance, close quarters battle, basic medical care, tactical self-defense, and various weapon systems.
Members of the National Task Force work full-time in the force. They used to work two weeks and then have two weeks of regular police work, but as the need for them increased they changed it to full-time to cope with the demand and the need for more training. Part of their training is done with the Swedish armed forces. Several of the members are former members of elite military units, and the National Task Force is described by some as a paramilitary unit within the Swedish police force.
NI often train with the special forces unit of the Armed Forces, the Special Operations Task Group.