SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Let police use CCTV without a permit: Sweden

Police should be able to use CCTV without having to apply for a licence, the Swedish government has said, ahead of the presentation of a new inquiry on camera surveillance.

Let police use CCTV without a permit: Sweden
File photo of a surveillance camera. Photo: Bezav Mahmod/SvD/TT

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made the announcement during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday, and Justice Minister Morgan Johansson echoed his words to the media later. It came ahead of the presentation of a new report, which is not expected to touch on the measure.

“It will be easier with camera surveillance. When it comes to the question of the police being obligated to get permission the inquiry had not been asked to answer that,” he told the TT newswire.

READ ALSO: Will CCTV help curb crime in Stockholm suburbs?

While CCTV is common in some European countries, Sweden has generally been restrictive, but has increased its use of cameras in the past few years. Five years ago there were around ten permanent cameras installed in the country, compared to around 120 today, according to TT.

Many new cameras have been set up in vulnerable suburbs such as Rinkeby and Tensta.

“There is an incredible need for cameras. Our crime curve is not positive, rather the opposite, and then cameras are an important complement that makes our work a lot easier,” Joakim Söderström, in charge of the national police's camera surveillance in public, told TT.

Today's rules give police permission to install temporary cameras, but only for a period of one month. For longer periods a decision is required from the county administrative board. Instead, politicians said, police should only have to report the installation of cameras to the county authorities.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
SHOW COMMENTS