New gun law proposal frustrates Swedish police
TT/The Local/rm · 20 Jan 2012, 07:58
Published: 20 Jan 2012 07:58 GMT+01:00
- Gun laws may be tightened: minister (04 Jan 12)
- 'Give police access to snoop agency intel' (08 Dec 11)
- Swedish MPs seek gun law review (26 Jul 11)
However, at present they are not willing to grant police the wire tapping capabilities for less serious crimes, powers which police have long sought.
“We have made every effort to signal the need for this and we hope that the government will continue to work on it. We really do need to have these capabilities,” said Skåne police county head Eva Årestad to news agency TT.
According to Årestad, the government’s stance is a disappointment to the police officers that work to combat illegal weapons on Malmö's streets.
“They see these problems daily and it is frustrating that we are unable to use the tools that exist when we are battling serious organized crime,” Årestad said.
According to minister for justice Beatrice Ask, the government is continuing to work on the question.
“I think that it is important at present that the police have a better arsenal against this and the fact that it is now going to be considered a more serious crime will increase their abilities to implement these measures,” she said to TT.
Ask pointed to the fact that the initial report had not suggested any tightening of the laws and that more weapons crimes now will be classified as serious.
“But to use secret surveillance, the penalties would need to be hiked up further and that may not be warranted for every type of weapons crime,” she said.
“It is, however, a question that I will be considering very seriously, as the police’s ability to prevent this kind of crime is extremely important.”
The tightening of Swedish weapons laws will be presented by Ask in March, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).
To carry a weapon in a public place or at a school will be treated as particularly serious, according to the new rules. It will be considered a serious offence with a penalty of least 6 months in prison.
It will also be considered an offence to keep a weapon for someone else or to bring a weapon into Sweden without declaring it at customs.
“We are making clear what many probably already think is an offence, but isn’t,” said Beatrice Ask to TT.