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'We need border checks to combat crime'

Lyssandra Sears · 2 Apr 2012, 09:52

Published: 02 Apr 2012 11:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Apr 2012 09:52 GMT+02:00

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A top Swiss security official has called for the country to reintroduce border checks in a bid to combat a spike in burglaries committed by organized foreign crime gangs. 

Jacqueline de Quattro, head of canton Vaud's security department, believes emergency measures are required after cantons bordering France experienced a 30-percent rise in burglaries last year, newspaper 20 Minutes reported.

A prominent member of the liberal Free Democratic Party, de Quattro said the spiralling crime figures gave Switzerland a legitimate reason to unilaterally sidestep the Schengen agreement and check the identities of people entering the country. 

“We need the tools to send out a deterrent signal to criminals,” de Quattro said.

“If we do nothing, we risk cross-border crime spreading to the north.”

Schengen has opened up Switzerland’s borders, allowing a much freer flow of traffic in and out of the country. 

De Quattro’s comments come after the publication last week of official crime statistics showing what has been referred to as an “explosion” of cross-border crime, particularly in cantons Vaud and Geneva.

Switzerland is attractive to criminals not only because of its wealth, but also because the punishments for certain crimes are less severe than in France, news website Swissinfo.ch reported.

The number of car thefts rose by as much as 45 percent in some areas, and overall crime committed by foreigners increased 10 percent on the previous year’s figures.

The police are dealing with three main groups of foreign offenders, Francois Schmutz, head of the Geneva police, told Swissinfo.

The first are gangs from Romania and the Balkans; the second, Roma groups who live between Milan and Paris and are thought to be responsible for a whole spate of burglaries; and finally, North Africans living illegally in Geneva.

“We need an exception rule which would allow us to conduct systematic border controls,” Swiss People’s Party National Councillor, Heinz Brand, told 20 Minutes.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2012-04-02 12:33:43 by HoppSuisse
Jacqueline de Quattro for president.

Arrest the coward Blocher for breaking our privacy laws, who said he did it because he was ordered to do so - the Nazi war criminals said the same thing. You can not blame Micheline Calmy-Rey for your own treasonous actions. Remember the spirit of Arnold Winkelried!

We must have the strength to stand up against our own politicians that would give away our FREEDOM of Banking privacy. Jail those who break our laws and start with Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf who wants us to change our laws in order to surrender our freedom. Before we vote we vote in new leaders we need to ask 2 questions;
1 – Did you support joining the EU?
2 – Did you not speak up against breaking the banking privacy laws?

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