Heat sensors to stop 'deadly' asylum treks to Sweden

TT/The Local
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Heat sensors to stop 'deadly' asylum treks to Sweden
The Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police have caught 25 people trying to walk over the high-speed Öresund bridge that connects Denmark's capital to Sweden, so they've installed new heat sensors designed to trace asylum seekers attempting the risky journey.


Copenhagen police have revealed that 25 people have been caught attempting to walk to Malmö in Sweden over the Öresund bridge since February 1st.

Of these, 20 are known to have registered as asylum seekers in Denmark while one had already sought asylum in Sweden, according to the News Öresund website, which first reported the story.

The crossing, made famous in the Nordic Noir detective series The Bridge, allows drivers to travel at up to 90 kilometres an hour and includes a motorway tunnel as well as an open air road section.

The recent dangerous attempts to cross the bridge follow Sweden's decision in January to demand photo identification for all travellers from Denmark crossing the bridge from Denmark by car or train as part of efforts to more closely monitor the flow of asylum seekers between the two countries.

Danish police said on Friday that they had installed new warning signs designed to deter walkers as well as heat sensors to better allow them to trace people making the potentially deadly journey.

The Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Erik Lindberg/TT

READ ALSO: Why do refugees prefer Sweden to Denmark?

Last month, when a lone walker was spotted walking on the motorway, Sanna Holmqvist, Head of Public Relations for the bridge, told The Local that police also had access to a network of some 400 cameras to help them detect pedestrians or any suspected criminal activities.

She refused to speculate on how many people may have attempted the journey since the turn of the year. 

"It does happen now and then because it's an open motorway (...) we don't really have statistics," she said.

The number of people seeking asylum in Sweden has dropped dramatically since the new border controls were introduced, with an average of less than 2,000 a week showing up in the Nordic country, compared to almost 10,000 during the autumn.

Officials confirmed this week that the border controls are set to continue until at least May 8th.

However the new checks, alongside ID controls at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport remain unpopular with many commuters in the region, especially train travellers who have seen their journey times increase by around 40 minutes as a result.


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