Empty army camps could become jails

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A senior police official has proposed to put away foreign converts in some of North Norway’s many abandoned military camps.  “Foreign criminals are taking up a lot of space in our jails,” Vestfold police inspector Magnar Pedersen told Dagbladet.

Police Inspector Magnar Pedersen wants to create more jail space up north.

Police Inspector Magnar Pedersen wants to create more jail space up north. PHOTO: Politiet i Vestfold

“The armed forces have abanadoned so much in North Norway, but the buildings are still there and could be used,” he said.

Pedersen says he’s tired and frustrated of having to release detained criminals because there’s no room for them in the prisons of Vestfold, Buskerud and Telemark counties, which are all full.

Unlike local inmates, foreign convicts have no familiy members who come visiting them and no other attachment to south Norway other than committing crimes there, Pedersen said.

Deputy Justice Minister Vidar Brein-Karlsen declined to comment on Pedersen’s idea, but agreed that there are serious prolems in Norway’s prisons.

“We inherited this prison queue from the red-green government, and are open to all suggestions for solving the problem,” he told NRK state broadcasting on Saturday.

According to Larvik newspaper Østlands-Posten, the prisons in the south are indeed crowded with a 100,2 percent occupancy rate earlier this week.

newsinenglish.no staff