The police are hiring without the funding
The Swedish Police want to hire hundreds of new employees around the country, National Police Chief Dan Eliasson tells Swedish Radio News. But he says the money is not in their budget…yet.
Speaking in the weekly Saturday lunch interview on the Swedish Radio P1 channel, Eliasson says he has acted ahead of the formal funding approval:
“I have anticipated the parliamentary decision,” he says, “and have told the regional departments to hire more employees even though the money is lacking now. I hope and believe the government and parliament will understand how serious the situation is, and provide the funding afterwards.”
The immediate hirings, Eliasson says, will not be for police officers:
“I’ve said that we are going to hire 700 people beyond our budget,” he says, “mostly civilian employees who will help with investigations and border checks.”
Over the next three years the police budget request calls for an additional SEK 7 billion in funding, referring to the increase in refugees and the terrorism threat. The force wants to hire altogether 2000 more officers and 1300 civilian employees to deal with these demands.
But National Police Chief Dan Eliasson says he doesn’t have time to wait for government approval, as the need for more personnel is acute:
“This is taking a risk,” he tells Swedish Radio, “but as an agency head you have do this sometimes. We can’t afford to not deal with this shortfall in personnel. I’ve interpreted what the Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs and others have said and drawn my own conclusions. I hope my analysis is correct, otherwise we have a problem.”
But Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman says he can’t make any promises:
“Like all other agencies the police have to stay within their budget,” he tells Swedish Radio News. “I and several others have said that if this situation is long-term, then we will have to provide more funding. Information about such possible increases will come in the budget.”