National plan to combat organised crime

The organisational structures of Sweden's police and prosecution office are not suitable for the fight against organised crime.

Instead, the authorities must pool their resources and take forward a national plan for fighting serious crime, according to national chief of police Stefan Strömberg, state prosecutor Fredrik Wersäll and justice minister Thomas Bodström, who presented a joint proposal on Monday.

“Criminals are threatening witnesses and plaintiffs, and don’t hesitate to do the same to police, prosecutors and others in the justice system,” said Bodström.

“That’s a big problem, not least in the small towns, which lack the resources of the big cities.”

The chief of police has decided to strengthen the ‘operational panel’, which will actively work to plan efforts against serious criminals.

At the same time, Malmö prosecutor Peter Tjäder will be promoted to a newly-created position within the National Criminal Investigation Department. His responsibility will be to investigate serious crime at a national level.

The National Criminal Investigation Department will be given an extra 100 million kronor to support the fight against serious crime.

“We have both the competence and the preparedness for overcoming the increased number of prosecutions which could result from this investment,” said Fredrik Wersäll at a press conference on Monday.

But the plan was immediately criticised by Peter Althin, justice spokesman for the Christian Democrats and member of the parliamentary justice commission.

“It’s mostly blah blah blah,” he said.

“Seldom has a press conference had so little substance. That the police must arrange things so that they learn more about organised, cross-border crime is good in itself. But aren’t they already doing that?”

Althin agreed that organised crime must be stopped. But he said that more resources must be committed to the fight and that there must be increased efforts to create a common picture of organised crime from a national perspective.

While Bodström has been pondering organisational issues, the criminals have had time to gain a major head start. Now a real grasp of organised crime is required, not just talk.”

Louis Roper