ID-checks in place for travellers from Denmark
All people travelling from Denmark to Sweden now have to show a valid photo identification, as the government hopes to reduce the number of refugees coming to Sweden.
The ID-checks started on Monday morning. People travelling from Copenhagen in Denmark to Malmö in Sweden now have to change trains at Kastrup Airport, which is the last stop before the Öresund bridge over to Sweden.
There are currently some 150 security guards scanning photo-IDs before letting people onto the platform where the train to Malmö leaves.
The press spokesperson from the Danish train company DSB, Tony Bispeskov, told Swedish Radio News that commuters travelling from Copenhagen Central Station to Malmö Central station can expect their journey to take 30 to 45 minutes longer than normal. Previously, the trip took about 35 minutes overall.
"People are lining up here. In front of me I have those guards from Securitas, from the big security company, they are in yellow vests and checking ID-cards and taking photos of each Id-card. Which takes some time, because they have to check: is there a photo? Is there a name, is there where the person i born so yes, lines are actually growing now," Alice Petrén, Swedish Radio's Migration Correspondent, told Radio Sweden
Petrén has spoken to several commuters who are annoyed that their journey to and from work will take 1-1,5 hours longer every day.
"I saw one lady, she had a new job in Lund, a city a little bit north of Malmö, and she hadn't realised that the trains didn't run that often, so she missed the train and she was looking 'wow! 40 minutes till the next one' and so of course, she was very frustrated, " said Alice Petrén.
Passengers are also worried about the photos taken of their ID's and how long the security company plan to keep them. For the security company, it is a way to prove that they actually have checked people´s photo ID's as the new rules say that transport companies that do not ensure that all passengers are carrying a valid photo ID are liable to pay a 50,000 SEK fine per trip.
"That is a concern among the travellers here, I heard several saying: 'what are they doing with the information they gather?'," said Alice Petrén.
But there is also a concern how the checks will effect the economy in the region. Bispeskov at the Danish rail company DSB told Swedish Radio News that just the checks are costing the company 1 million Danish krona extra per day. According to the independent Öresundsinstitutet, there are over 15,000 people commuting over the Öresound between Denmark and Sweden every day.
Since November, Swedish police have been checking the IDs of people travelling from Denmark, but the controls were random. But still, some 2,000 refugees have been coming every day to apply for asylum in Sweden, which, according to the government, is still more than Sweden can manage. In December, the parliament voted in favour of introducing the new rules that place the responsibility for the ID-checks on the transport companies from Monday the 4th of January.