Swedish politicians in the northeastern area of Skåne county have complained there are no police in their area as available officers are sent to the heavily migrant-populated city of Malmö to help deal with serious crimes.
Lars Johnsson of the Moderate Party sits on the local council for the municipality of Hässleholm and has expressed concern over the lack of police in the city centre which is becoming rife with problems, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
“It’s not just a hub for travellers but also for drug trafficking and the problem is that we have too few police officers,” Johnsson said.
In other areas of the county like Östra Göinge, there is also a lack of available police officers. “We currently have no police presence at all. Our municipal police are sent to Malmö and we are leaving now we know that crime will increase,” Moderate Party politician Patric Åberg said.
Pär Cederholm, head of the Hässleholm police, said he worried that some officers will quit because of the strain of the work in Malmö which would decrease the number of available officers ever further.
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“The pressure is very hard when it comes to emergency cases. The police cannot do a good job before they have to go to the next place,” Cederholm said.
In 2016, similar concerns were raised by Swedish police Sergeant Peter Larsson who said that many officers were quitting the force due to the pressures of the job, salary issues, and increasing violence.
Over the past year, the level of violence towards police officers has intensified, with several direct attacks on police stations including the bombing of a police station in Helsingborg in October of last year.
A lack of officers and resources has been a major issue in the more rural areas in the north of the country like the region of southern Lapland, an area the size of Denmark, which has been limited to a single police vehicle to serve tens of thousands of people.