Burglars on the run get harder times in the Swedish – Finnish borderland as police forces will be allowed to cross the state border.
The towns and villages on both side of the 400 kilometre long border in the Torne Valley have one thing in common; long distances and sparsely population. The response time for police forces can therefore be long.
The two countries’ Ministries of Justice have initiated work to adjust national laws with the aim to make cross-border teamwork easier.
Mikael Rova is Swedish project leader on the issue.
“If we take the sparsely populated municipalities we have in Eastern Norrbotten and Pajala, where the nearest back-up can be 180 kilometres away, your future patrol can be 30 kilometres away in Finnish Kolari,” Rova says to Swedish Radio.
When in place, joint patrols in shared police cars that can drive cross the border will be a reality, P4 Norrbotten reports.
“If we are looking for stolen goods that are crossing the border, if the theft takes place in Finland and are stored in Sweden, then Finnish police can come over and search for the criminals,” says Mikael Rova.
Some 150 police officers on both sides of the border will now undergo language training and study each other’s laws. The program is partly financed by the European Union.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: PInclude communities in crime prevention, says Arctic Canadian politician, CBC News
Iceland: Iceland has first fatal police shooting, The Associated Press
Russia: Service reindeer for police in Russia’s Arctic, Barents Observer
Sweden: Reports of violent crime increasing in Sweden’s North, Radio Sweden
United States: Bill to improve village safety not enough says Alaska tribal judge, Alaska Public Radio Network