Norway may send foreign felons to old army camps

prison bigA senior Norwegian police officer says foreign criminals should be shipped to abandoned army camps in the north of the country. Magnar Pedersen, an inspector attached to the Vestfold Constabulary, said last weekend that he was bored with seeing criminals being let out of jail in the south of the country.

He claimed the authorities often had to free criminals due to lack of space in remand centres and prisons in his county and the neighbouring ones of Buskerud and Telemark. The inspector said the facilities were packed with foreign criminals.

He continued by saying the only links these immigrant felons had with Norway was that it was the scene of their crimes. He pointed out that most had no family visitors or other ties to the south of the country.

The inspector said that nobody would miss the criminals and it made sense to ship them north to serve out their sentences in the disused army camps in that part of the country. He said the buildings in the old camps were still there, and usable, and could soon be converted to prisons.

Views and News from Norway reported that Vidar Brein-Karlsen, a justice department minister, refused to be drawn on inspector Pedersen’s recommendation. He did concede there were major problems with incarceration facilities in Norway, but claimed it was a legacy left over from the previous government.