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Sweden needs more police officers, union says

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Sweden needs more police officers, union says
File photo of Swedish police officers. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
09:15 CEST+02:00
A lack of adequate staff numbers and changes within the police organization are preventing more crimes from being solved, according to the Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) survey of its members.

According to 39 percent of police surveyed, a lack of investigation staff means the country's crime clearance rate is going in the wrong direction. 23 percent blamed changes in the police organization for that meanwhile, and 13 percent blamed a lack of staff to carry out arrests.

"They lack officers to investigate all crimes. Talented police officers are quitting these days because they get better conditions within other fields," Polisförbundet spokesperson Lena Nitz said in a statement.

The number of cases handed over by police to prosecutors in Sweden has decreased from 200,000 per year to 150,000 in 2016 according to the union, though a change in the trend appears to have started this year.

The survey also showed the at almost a third of police officers consider half of their administrative work to be unnecessary, and that it could be avoided by streamlining.

READ ALSO: Swedish police 'in crisis', union says

The union says that too many people leave their job prematurely due to a difficult working environment and low salaries. Last year 460 officers quit in order to pursue something else, and by March this year the figure was at 130.

In 2016, 200 police officers under the age of 40 left their positions, while police training positions were not fully filled at the same time.

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