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Drug seizures down as customs staff slack off

Drug seizures down as customs staff slack off

Published: 23 Feb 2013 11:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Feb 2013 11:39 GMT+01:00

Customs officers in Skåne, south Sweden, are deliberately slowing down their work in protest against a shrinking workforce, leading to a drop in drug seizures as fewer cars are stopped.

Drug seizures in Skåne have dropped by 16 percent this year compared to 2012.

The reason is dissatisfaction among customs staff, according to Jan Martinsson, chairman of the Tull-Kust trade union which represents workers in Swedish Customs (Tullverket) and the Swedish Coast Guard (Kustbevakningen).

"We're not being super successful in our work every day, if you see what I mean," Martinsson told the TT news agency.

"Customs officers have to be hungry to go after the loot. If you're not hungry, if you are dissatisfied - well, then these are the consequences".

Martinsson stressed that the union is not behind the customs officers' protest, but is aware of their tactics.

"I know that there is widespread dissatisfaction among my members," he said.

Martinsson explained that a thinning workforce means customs officers cannot keep up the same high standards as usual.

But Michael Nelander, head of crime prevention at Swedish Customs in the Skåne and Blekinge regions, claimed that he has not noticed a decrease in work efficiency.

"I don't want to believe that it's true - that our staff members, who are very professional, responsible and passionate about their work, would take that kind of measure. I have a very hard time believing that," said Nelander.

He called slowdown tactics "unacceptable".

However, one customs officer confirmed that around 150 staff members in Skåne are participating in the protest, which involves cutting down on random inspections.

"In general, we are dissatisfied with the situation", the customs officer, who wished to be anonymous, told TT.

"There are too few of us. It has been a turbulent time with changing work hours and so on… We feel you have to put your foot down."

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Your comments about this article

18:17 February 23, 2013 by AquamanUK
GOOD

Swedish NANNY state attitude is very antiquated.

Try the Portuguese way - then it cost the tax payer little.

I love to hear when the Border/Police have intercepted €1 worth or €10 euro's worth of drugs...

But is it the same as the FILM industry - when I was a child it was in todays terms 5 cents to see a film but they FILM INDUSTRY does not give actual number of bums on seats - they give 'box office receipts'... when it is €20 per person today, it is easy to have a million euro/dollar - so called blockbuster - when in reality, the bums on seats is 10% of what it was in 1973.

Same with drugs, for every kilo that is found, they NEVER ADMIT a TONNE is either Imported or created in kitchens in suburban homes.

The AMERICAN war on drug - Leave the Wanks to it! We have the Swedish - the Middle way - that in recent years seems to be MUDDLED by UK and other rightwingnut politicial mentality. (yeah it is a vote winner with octogenarians, but fact is LIFE if about those of WORKING AGE!)

Sad, the Swedish way use to be the leading way in world on EVERY ASPECT - now they just want to follow imbiciles like Camer-looney.... SHAME.
11:59 February 24, 2013 by johan rebel
All drugs, hard and soft, should be legalized in my opinion. Having said that, customs officials who are dissatisfied should look for work elsewhere, and those who don't do their job should simply be fired.

Johan
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