Oslo police want new “express trials” for foreign crime suspects, to better allow them to be kept in custody until their cases are tried. They’ve already won political support for the idea from the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet, Frp).
The problem, police told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), is that many foreign crime suspects disappear when they’re released from custody pending the outcome of their criminal trials. While Norwegians generally have registered addresses with state authorities and can more easily be tracked down, foreigners often don’t show up for their trials or to serve their jail time if convicted.
Only one police employee is currently charged with trying to find foreign convicts who are avoiding their jail terms. The result is that foreign criminals see little risk of being caught.
Progress Party politicians have asked the Labour-led government to evaluate the police proposal and find a way to expedite the trials of foreign criminals. Pål Lønseth of Labour, state secretary in the Justice Ministry, said they would listen to the police but he remained skeptical of offering quicker trials for foreigners with an aim of obtaining quicker convictions.