Police in northern Sweden forced to cover for missing security guards

A street sign in Kiruna showing the way to Lulea. The lack of security guards in northern Sweden means police often have to fill in the gaps, like making the 4-hour drive with prisoners from the Arctic city of Kiruna to Lulea, 350km further to the south. This negatively affects police operations in the North, officals say. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
  • Police in northern Sweden say they’re having to take on some jobs usually contracted out to security guards, which is taking time away from their usual work.
  • The security company that Police Region North signed a contract with cannot deliver the security guards that were promised, according to Police Region North’s deputy chief Lars Wahlberg.
  • He says police officers are having to escort suspects long distances, a job that should be done by the security company. A spokesperson for the security company Securus says it has been difficult to find staff in northern Sweden.
Radio Sweden

For more on the manpower challenges facing northern Sweden and the impact it’s having on police work, listen to Radio Sweden’s full report.

Related stories from around the North: 

Finland: Police response times up to an hour slower in Arctic Finland, Yle News

Norway: Police in Arctic Norway say helicopter now needed for border surveillance, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Police respond to rising burglaries in Swedish Lapland, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Justice Dept. awards $42 million in tribal grants to fight crime, help victims in rural Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Radio Sweden

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