Sweden, crime | Police in Sweden can use visiting zones against gang violence

Sweden, crime |  Police in Sweden can use visiting zones against gang violence

Swedish police have been given the authority to use so-called visiting zones to combat gang violence. In these areas, they can search people and cars without any tangible suspicion.

The safe zones law goes into effect on Thursday. Accordingly, police can establish temporary security zones, also known as visiting areas, under certain circumstances. There must be a “substantial” risk of violent conflict between criminal networks, and the area must be considered particularly important in order to prevent such conflict.

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– These are strong legal terms. In other words, it is not something that will be easily and everywhere identified, says Commissioner Christian Malzoff at the Development Unit of the National Police Operations Department.

The decision on the safe zone will be in effect for two weeks, but could be extended. In the area, children, adults and vehicles can be searched without any concrete suspicion that a crime has been committed. Malzoff says he feels confident that most people traveling in these places will not be stopped and searched.

While police believe these zones could contribute to increased security in violence-prone areas, critics fear the new law will backfire. They fear that those stopped will become arbitrary, and that this will lead to increased distrust of the police where the zones are used.

In addition, police measures are not covered by discrimination law, so those who feel discriminated against during a search have no right to appeal. The Discrimination Ombudsman believes that the police should also be subject to the law.

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The civil rights group believes that this exception is unacceptable and that the law must be changed as soon as possible.

(© NTB)

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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