Police and politicians fear planned EU Schengen Area expansion could lead to a significant rise in Eastern European crime.
Atle Roll-Mathiessen, head of the Norwegian Criminal police (Kripos) tactical investigations unit, alleges the number of crimes committed by people from Eastern Europe has risen considerably since Schengen ‘s expansion eastwards.
Figures from Kripos show Lithuanians, Poles, and Romanians were involved in 9,000 criminal cases in 2009. Mr Roll-Mathiessen fears this trend will only continue when Romania and Bulgaria become members.
“This will mean citizens of these countries, as well as Moldavians with a Romanian passport, will be able to move freely within Schengen,” he tells NRK.
Per Sandberg MP, the Progress Party’s (FrP) representative heading the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, advocates increased financial grants to the police, sharing their concern.
“We must secure these for new Police Academy graduates, emergency police, as well as strengthening regional cooperation to benefit from their crime-fighting competence.”
Neither the Romanian, nor Bulgarian ambassadors in Oslo were available for comment at the time of publication.
Several readers in NRK’s comments section call for Norway’s withdrawal from Schengen.
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