Subscribe to the latest news from the Nordic Labour Journal by e-mail. The newsletter is issued 9 times a year. Subscription is free of charge.

You are here: Home i In Focus i In focus 2019 i The role of the police in the Nordics i "We must protect our police force"
"We must protect our police force"

"We must protect our police force"

| Text and photo: Fayme Alm

There is a parliamentary majority in Sweden for recruiting more police officers. There has been a tripling of police training places in recent years. 546 new police officers recently graduated.

But projected figures for the next term look bleak. At the five Police academies in the country, with a capacity of 1 020 new students, just over half, 651 persons, have been accepted, according to Swedish Radio.

Low pay could be one reason for the lack of interest.

“A police who has worked nine years on the streets of Malmö is paid between 28,000 and 30,000 Swedish kronor a month (€2,700 to €2,900). If you work Christmas Eve, you get an extra 100 kronor an hour (€9,60). If you’re on call, you are paid 15 kronor (€1,40) an hour on weekdays and 30 kroner (€2,80) on holidays. You have one hour to get ready for duty,” says Nina Eilenberg Wemrin.

She is a police officer and leader for the Swedish Police Union South. She is concerned not only about the wages, but also that the Police employs many new categories of personell, without analysing what this can lead to:

- When you are educated as a police you will learn about justice, how to handle guns etc. You are also trained to face certain ethic dilemmas, which helps you as a police to make the right decisions when you are in a tough situation. Decisions have to be made in a short time that may have consequences not only for yourself, but for other persons, your colleaugues and your family.

“What happens if we delegate the monopoly on violence to security guards? Or when criminologists and social workers outnumber police officers in the force? I’m sure these professions are useful in the fight against crime, but we must protect our police force when we see an increase in both terrorism and gang crime,” says Nina Eilenberg Wemrin. 

She says the situation in Malmö is not new. It has been a source of frustration among her colleagues for a long time.

“Police on the street has known for several years how unsustainable the situation in Malmö is. But it has taken until now to get the politicians to listen." 

“Every day police go out and face criminals, prepared to risk their lives for strangers. We must protect those personnel and listen to what they have to say. They are the ones with the experience needed to protect , help and mend,” she says.

Filed under:
Nina Eilenberg Wemrin

principal safety representative for the Swedish Police Union South. 


Receive Nordic Labour Journal's newsletter nine times a year. It's free.

This is themeComment