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Customs officers: "We want to carry weapons"

Published måndag 14 december 2015 kl 10.02
Photo: Ludvig Thunman / TT
Weapons confiscated by Swedish Customs, displayed at a press conference in Malmö last May. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / TT

Swedish customs officers want to be armed, according to a report by Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Currently, permission to carry weapons is given only to personnel on certain assignments. The reason officers want to be armed now is because they need to carry out checks at Sweden's internal borders with other Schengen countries, and because of Sweden's terror threat level, which was raised in November, to "high".

Swedish Customs inspectors also work against organized crime, confiscating illegal drugs and performing searches for weapons.

"We only have the possibility to defend ourselves against an unarmed assailant," Marcel Gabara, head safety officer in Helsingborg, told the newspaper, adding, "it's not enough with pepper spray and a baton."

However, the management at the customs authority disagrees.

"So far, we haven't had incidents in which a weapon would have solved the problem," said Lars Kristofferson, deputy chief of law enforcement at the authority. According to Kristofferson, there is no particular threat against Swedish Customs, either.

The matter has now been passed to the Swedish Work Environment Authority to decide.

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