Soon, the limit is reached for police officers operating in the sparsely populated areas in the North of Sweden. One single police car will be available in a police district which can be compared to the size of Croatia.
Sweden is a rather large country by area, the fifth in Europe. 13% of the country’s 450,000 km2 belong to the police district of Northern Lapland. It covers the three widespread municipalities Kiruna, Gällivare and Jokkmokk, which are among the largest municipalities in the whole country, by area.
The police district’s size is measurable with the whole nation of Croatia – but will only be protected by one police car during 13 shifts this summer. Normally, the district has two vehicles patrolling the area.
“We have reached a limit for how undermanned a Police unit can become”, Johan Claesson, representative at the Northern Police Union says to Svenska Dagbladet.
“Not a sausage factory”
“The Police is an organisation for preparedness. It is not a sausage plant in which you can predict how many sausages that will be produced”, Claesson states.
Normally, the Northern police district has two cars on duty, but according to local Police management, the district must cope with one during 13 work shifts this summer. The other car will be standing by, in so called preparedness.
“It means that you have to arrive to the station within an hour, but it takes time for transports from there. The problem is, if something happens, what kind of support can you get? For us, it is mainly a safety matter for our police officers in duty”, Johan Claesson says, adding that not only pines and mountain tops exist is the Northern part of Sweden.
“We are facing a substantial population growth during the summer with tourists and holiday makers. If things happen, the consequence is that people must wait longer for help.”
Chief of Police still confident
According to Håkan Karlsson, Chief of Police in the Norrbotten area, Police management was not informed on time that many police officers were unavailable for duty during the summer.
“I share the Union’s opinion that we have reached all time low in available officers. But from the different alternatives, we agreed that this was the best one, Karlsson says, adding that challenges differs in the country and awaits added resources – 10.000 more workers promised before the year 2024.
“It is a part of our daily activities in the North to managing large areas. Other districts experience particularly challenging areas. I am still confident that region North will get its share when added resources are divided as promised”, Håkan Karlsson says.
The post One single police car must cover 13% of Sweden’s area appeared first on Voice of Europe.
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