Thousands More Cops Needed

Aftenposten (Oslo), June 16, 2008

Police Director Ingelin Killengreen was due to deliver a report on staffing needs to the Justice Ministry on Monday. In it, she notes that Norway’s population is expected to grow not least through immigration, and that poses new challenges.

There are now 460,000 immigrants living in Norway, mostly from Sweden and other European countries but also from the Americas, Asia and Africa. The total number of immigrants in Norway is expected to rise to 1,050,000 by 2020, with two-thirds coming from western nations and one third from eastern European nations and developing countries.

Since the police handle immigration cases on behalf of the immigration agency, more staffing will be needed. It also will be needed to tackle a rising crime rate and ongoing domestic migration from the countryside to the cities.

“We must be prepared to receive immigrants in a way that also will help prevent crime better than we manage today,” Killengreen said. “We need more police with immigrant background themselves, and experts with more insight into foreign cultures.”

Killengreen wants 2,700 more police officers in uniform and 1,000 plainclothes cops on the beat. Justice Minister Knut Storberget welcome the police report and called the needs a “sober and realistic analysis” of crime in Norway and how to deal with it.

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