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'Allow foreign police in Sweden': minister

Stuart Sheild · 25 Apr 2009, 11:30

Published: 25 Apr 2009 11:30 GMT+02:00

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Speaking at the Moderate party local government conference in Örebro, the minister yesterday aired her thoughts on how the inquiry should proceed. The committee will have until the end of next year to complete its assignment, which will include assessing situations in which foreign police officers would be permitted to act, i.e. exercise their official authority, vis à vis Swedish citizens. Operations could involve arrests or other police measures.

According to TT's sources, the Government feels there is a need to allow foreign police operations in Sweden as a complement to the work of the Swedish police in areas such as human trafficking/smuggling or other forms of cross-border crime. Cooperation could also include support during major public events, such as international summit meetings, sporting events where crowd violence is likely, major accidents or other crises.

Ask noted that the opposition, including the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and her predecessor in office, Thomas Bodström, are opposed to the idea of foreign police operating on Swedish soil.

“We will now draw up a background document and discuss it. I believe that with a good basis to build on we will reach an agreement acceptable to everyone. That’s how it usually works. I can’t imagine anyone opposing our proposal if we show that greater collaboration, subject to certain conditions and in certain contexts, would be good for crime prevention and our security,” the minister said at a press conference during the Moderate party local government conference in Örebro.

Ask maintained that citizens living in areas bordering on Norway, Finland and Denmark find it difficult to understand the current obstacles to cooperation and would regard it as unreasonable not to take advantage of the opportunity to move forward.

The inquiry will be chaired by the head of Ekobrottsmydigheten (Swedish Economic Crime Authority) Gudrun Antemar.

The head of Rikskriminalpolisen (Swedish National Criminal Police), Therese Mattsson, welcomed the minister’s decision to look into the feasibility of allowing foreign police to operate in Sweden.

“An excellent initiative. We have wanted this for a long time,” Mattsson said to TT. She referred to the need for clearly defined rules on issues such as how and when foreign police officers would be allowed to carry weapons and under what circumstances they would be permitted to intervene. She emphasised that overall responsibility lay with the Swedish police and that foreign contingents would ultimately be under Swedish command should joint operations become a reality.

Story continues below…

As an example of the kind of cooperation that could be further developed, Therese Mattsson and Beatrice Ask cited the joint exercises held by the Swedish and Norwegian special task forces. However, they point out that it would be a major advantage if they could also collaborate in critical situations, especially as this would better enable them to endure protracted operations.

Stuart Sheild (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:06 April 25, 2009 by Nemesis
This is the first sensible idea I have heard for the police in Sweden, since I came to Sweden two years ago. Crime in the Oresund is completely cross border. Alsmost all drug and money laudering is cross border as well as some tax evasion.

Police officers from other countries will be shocked at how lenient and lazy police in Sweden are.

However the excahnge of police officers and ideas, will most likely help to improve the police in Sweden. Any problems regarding inter ountry police cooperation will be exchanged at minsterial level, allowing problems to be raised more effectively and possible dealt with.

Sweden needs more determined, agressive, police who actually give a damn what is happening in there country and want to improve there society.

For to long Sweden has had a policy of turn a blind eye as long as possible to criminals. Having other police forces in Sweden can only help to expose that and in the long term help the police here to put criminals in jail.
10:08 April 25, 2009 by peropaco
Any help the inadecuate and ill-prepared Swedish police can get is welcome.
10:48 April 25, 2009 by tetsuo_red
The best way to prevent crimes is to just hire 2 million more police, put a barbed wired fences all around, have a cerfew, everyone is guilty until proven innocent, torture, executions or maybe just copy the East German Stazi approach.

To talk about a joint venture between the countries of scandinavia is one thing but to include the rest of the world is another.

"..when foreign police officers would be allowed to carry weapons and under what circumstances they would be permitted to intervene" - This is a threat to the sovereignty of any nation.

Beware I tell you or we heading towards China/American style police state.
13:20 April 25, 2009 by Random Guy
"heading towards China/American style police state. "

uh, bush is gone now!
14:09 April 25, 2009 by rybo1
My adopted country, Sweden, is becoming ridiculous. Are the powers that be going to hire washouts from "Black Water" ?
15:00 April 25, 2009 by dtes
POLICE STATE on its way? ITS HERE, RISE UP FOLKS! This lady should be chased out of town by a mob, but instead the tvheads just clap, its all they know to do.
16:00 April 25, 2009 by samwise
so they need foreign police to enforce their laws on this land?

should swedes respect chinese police the same way as swedish police? say, they want to search your house, and show you their chinese police card, and you cooperate?

it feels weird.

but on the other hand, if the crime rate goes up, we blame the chinese and the british for not enforcing the law here, I suppose.

nice try.

"Beware I tell you or we heading towards China/American style police state. "

- tell me why so many chinese want to move to the states, but not the other way around?

I guess one of the consequences of freedom is that we have to live with this kind of crap.
18:17 April 25, 2009 by Sebastian_R
Guys, I think you need to calm down: Scandinavia is getting closer and closer and if it helps police efficiency to work with the Danes, why not?

Nobody is talking about inviting the CIA in (besides that happens anyways) but I saw Swedish police helping in Copenhagen and I was glad for it. Sometimes there are moments when good neigbors just need to help each other out. And then it is nice to be able to do so.
20:26 April 25, 2009 by Roger O. Thornhill
and now the worst is to come.

You didn't finish your sentence.
20:45 April 25, 2009 by peropaco
Do we actually need more Scandinavian police doing the routine sobreity test each midsummer eve? After all; that is the only time ones c's a police officer in Sweden.
06:49 April 26, 2009 by Onepack
The "police state" is coming, whether we like it or not. We are now being monitored in our actions on the internet, we are being photographed in public places via cameras hung in public places. the quesiton is quality. Sweden is in the formative stages of its police state... It is seeking help, but when it arrives we will find that there is a "formula" that must be followed... they call it "procedures for securing the population". Fear will be its prime persuader and money will be its fuel. This is going to be a BIG BUSINESS. An alternative would be to reform immigration rules and increase the educational standards of the country.
16:19 April 26, 2009 by Qassim
Cooperation between polices in neighboring countries will only contribute an enforcement in law and order in the Nordic region. Any attempt to make this idea work is what I can say a right step taken to the right direction.

Nothing or Less is almost known about what is going near the borders of all these Scandinavian countries - This will only not help the Nordic countries' security but also it will be a security measure that will help all the EU countries and it will also be an exemplary step for many countries European nations.
16:55 April 26, 2009 by rlnan64689497
It would be interesting to see published police reports of arrests made for crimes besides public intoxication, and driving violations. It would also be interesting to know the actual number of police officers in comparison to the current population in Sweden. I really think they need more officers. It shouldn't be too much of a problem with all the layoffs happening now. Being a police officer is not an easy job, but any reasonable offer of help to improve operations should be welcomed. I am not very confident in the police here. I go out very rarely now because I don't feel safe. Mainly because I seldom ever see police on patrol. Just seeing police helps law abiding citizens feel secure.
21:51 April 26, 2009 by Jakub72
Please advise on your comparision of the US to China in that specific capacity. I feel that I have more to worry about here then I did in the States, but that is just my current perception. But comparing the US to China might be a stretch....
10:09 April 27, 2009 by bocale1
One thing is saying that there should be ways to facilitate the cooperation between polices for well delimited and specific investigations (e.g. drugs smuggling, human trafficking, etc...) other is saying that foreign police should be allowed to exercise its power in Sweden during major public events or without specific clear borders... e.g. could you imagine, during an international summit, the Chinese police acting in Sweden trying to apply the same illiberal laws existing in China about freedom of speech and protest?

And, all in all, before introducing innovative ways of international cooperation, we may discuss how to improve the efficiency of the Swedish Police... let´s not try to find abroad solutions to our internal problems... the other countries are not better than Sweden in terms of safety and security (I would say the opposite!)
14:22 April 27, 2009 by The lighthouse keeper
During the World War II, the Swedish government allowed the NKVD/KGB to arrest Soviet citizens in Sweden, who had been given asylum.

By any normal standards a treasonous act.

Now our "conservative"/moderate minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, wants to allow foreign police to operate in Sweden.

Thereby taking a another step to abolish our national sovereignty.

Is this constitutional or did we abolish our constitution when we joined the EU in 1994?

Most dimwits think the proposition to allow foreign police to operate in Sweden is excellent. I mean, how stupid can you get?

People don't deserve freedom. They are actually too stupid.

That's some comfort, anyway.

P.S. The idiots in the intelligence community might very well find talk of "a treanous act" reason enough to start monitoring me for suspected "right wing extremism" or something.
13:46 April 29, 2009 by jhk

given you are obviously intelligent, articulated and an all round good egg perhaps you could enlighten dimwits with a rational arguments. Something more than the something bad was done a long time ago, and therefore it must be the same today.

Also why is allowing police officer to operate in sweden a abolishment of sovereignty. Operate is not the same as prosecution. If an under cover policeman is risking his/her life and he needs to cross a border should the swedish police cooperate with and allow the operation, or should he/she tell the bad guys, sorry can't cross this border due to not being allowed as its an infringement of sovereignty?

Do you see any benefits where inter cooperation of police forces would help combat international crimes.

that said, anyone operating her should be subject to swedish law ie sending people off on a CIA airplane is not a good thing.

Its about balance.
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