High levels of collective presence at ports paying off

Initiatives focusing on organised acquisitive crime have been in progress this week. The Swedish Coast Guard, the Swedish Police Authority and the Swedish Customs Service worked side-by-side to enhance the power of inspections performed on port sites.

In 36 hours, Sweden has:

• carried out 5000 vehicle checks and 5000 checks of individuals
• turned away 22 people at the border
• arrested 13 people for crimes such as theft and receiving stolen goods
• arrested a number of drivers for drink-driving
• confiscated bangers, computers, 20,000 tablets, two stolen trailers, one stolen car and stolen airbags.

The Swedish Customs Service, the Swedish Coast Guard and the Swedish Police Authority ran a joint initiative focusing on acquisitive crime – crime where somebody takes something belonging to someone else without permission. This type of crime is frequently organised and affects many people in Sweden.

The initiative was managed from Sweden and forms part of an EU-wide initiative involving a number of countries around the Baltic Sea. The aim of the initiative was to prevent, prosecute and gather intelligence on this kind of crime and other cross-border crime in the Baltic Sea region.

This partnership allows us to apply the authorities’ relevant sections of laws and regulations all at the same time, as all three are present. Gathering together powers and expertise allows us to use our resources more efficiently than if we all work separately.

Cross-border crime also requires cross-border partnerships. This is why the initiatives at Swedish ports form part of a wider cooperation with ten EU countries and Europol.

• The Swedish Coast Guard has a law enforcement mission aimed primarily at crimes committed at sea or in the maritime environment.
• At ports, the Swedish Coast Guard primarily verifies and inspects dangerous goods and securing of cargoes to be loaded for transport by sea.
• There are times during these checks when we find stolen goods that are leaving the country.
• The Swedish Coast Guard has had the power to confiscate stolen goods and arrest suspects since 1 April.