Police union slams new fast-track course
The Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) has criticised plans to introduce a new fast-track course for civilian employees within the police force, telling Radio Sweden that the course is too short and that it will affect public trust in the police force.
The aim of the initiative is to allow civilian employees with expertise in areas like IT technology, law or psychology to take on the same tasks and responsibilities as other police officers, like heading a criminal investigation.
But the Swedish Police Union says the force should focus on using existing talent among the union's members - and that the proposed course is insufficient compared to the three-year education that police officers receive.
Lars Bergman, vice president of the Police Union, told Radio Sweden: "I don't know of any other country in Europe where they even discuss this kind of short education for people who are not police officers. We have been in contact with colleagues in Germany and the UK and they just laugh when they hear about this."
"It's a very strange way of trying to increase the number of police officers," Bergman added and suggested that it is a response to pressure from the government to increase the number of solved crimes.
Jens Pedersen is a civilian employee and represent the union Jusek within the police. He told Swedish Radio News that the course is needed in order to ensure that the police force remains an attractive place to work for experts.