'Bikini cop' quits force amid policing crisis in Sweden - reports

Kellner in the shot which made headlines around the world and made her famous in Sweden.
Kellner in the shot which made headlines around the world and made her famous in Sweden.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

A Swedish police officer who made global headlines after chasing down a thief in her bikini has quit her job after 11 years, citing unhappiness over a reorganisation of her police force.

Mikaela Kellner hit the headlines in July (2016) when she chased, subdued, and arrested a thief in a Stockholm park who had tried to steal from Kellner and her friends.

Kellner was sunbathing at the time, and a photo of her pinning the man to the ground in her bikini went viral and has been liked more than 23,000 times on Instagram.

The fearless policewoman quickly rose to national fame, which culminated in a call from Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman and an invitation to have lunch at Rosenbad, Sweden's seat of government.

But fame has not quelled her unhappiness over a restructuring of the force, which she says has led to inferior working conditions.

Now, Kellner is leaving to become a personal trainer, say reports.

In January 2015, Sweden's police was reorganised from 21 county forces into seven regional forces. But according to reports, the force is plagued by severe understaffing, underpayment and low crime detection — despite the allocation of billions of extra kronor in backup.

A report published earlier this year (2016) suggested that up to 80 per cent of Swedish police officers were considering pursuing a different careers due to the dangers they face in the field.

In recent months, Sweden has been plagued by ballooning criminality in the form of sex attacks, burglary, murder, vehicular arson and violence towards the police in blighted suburban areas, say reports. Immigration has been blamed by some.

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Speaking to Swedish newspaper Expressen, Kellner said: "The main reason, is that I've not felt comfortable with the recent reorganisation. I do not think that personnel are being treated fairly, as they should."

With regards to her new career choice, Kellner said that the role of a police officer "has become a bit like a second identity, and I feel bad about not doing a good job."

Kellner at first took a year's leave in order to consider a new career, before deciding to embrace her ambition of becoming a personal trainer, said reports.