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Huge increase in number of Swedish border police

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The Öresund bridge. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
19:10 CET+01:00
Swedish border police in Skåne are recruiting an extra 72 new border control officers, according to Swedish Radio.

This is a significant increase on the 10 to 15 border control officers currently working in the area.

On January 4th, Sweden imposed border controls on the Öresund bridge connecting it with Denmark in an effort to reduce the number of migrants entering the country. Everybody travelling to Sweden from Denmark must show their passport or a valid ID.

The border controls so far have been largely carried out by police officers drafted in from other parts of the country but their duties will soon be taken on by the new border control officers.

They will be working in Malmö, Helsingborg and Trelleborg in southern Sweden.

"They will get training, which the police reinforcements have not had. We will also have trained local border control officers and won't need to pay for hotels," border police inspector John Lamberth told Swedish Radio's local station in Skåne.

It is the first time in half a century that Sweden has demanded photo identification for all travellers from Denmark and represents a blow to Europe's cherished passport-free Schengen system. 

The new requirements have also drawn strong criticism from commercial companies in the Öresund region, worried that the changes could have a big impact on business and trade on both sides of the border.

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"The commuting system is the blood system of a metropolitan economy. It will stop the blood flowing," Per Tryding, deputy CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden, told The Local in January.

The Swedish government has said it will review whether or not to continue the checks on a monthly basis.

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