Well, it only took 25 years but finally Sweden has taken a step in the right direction when it comes to fighting organized crime, even your common drug deal, which I suppose is less common in Sweden. The Swedish government has finally decided to allow the police and investigators to bug people. Hidden microphones are now a legitimate tool in fighting crime.
This decision came after the issue was first brought up 25 years ago. Oh the beauty of the Swedish Model, just a beacon of governmental efficiency in a world full of red tape. And what did they do in all those crime movies, they must have been seriously lacking in tense moments when someone went undercover with a microphone. Would they get caught? Would it work? Oh shit.
Obviously, this decision was met with fear and conspiracy theories of the abuse that would follow. Which is why the government made sure to set some guidelines. Wouldn’t want anything to get out of hand. Hidden microphones can only be used in crimes that, with a conviction, would give four or more years of jail time. And the government has also said that hidden microphones will only be used in about 40 cases per year. Yup, they even decided how many times this tool should be used over the course of the year. It wasn’t decided that it should be up to the discretion of the police, instead an arbitrary number was picked. Sweet.
Currently in southern Sweden, Göteborg, or Gothenburg, has been beset by a series of shootings in the last few days, which the police suspect to be gang related. Seems like this might be a good time to use these microphones. Of course, wouldn’t want to use them too early. If sweet, innocent little Sweden suddenly has to deal with this sort of thing on a regular basis then 40 hidden microphones just aren’t going to be enough. The police director chose not to comment on that number though. Which could be taken as placid acceptance or quiet denial.
I just don’t really understand this Swedish mindset. This idea that criminals should be protected to such an extent that hidden microphones are automatically assumed to be a dangerous tool that only leads to misuse is mindboggling to me. There is a difference between violating someone’s natural rights of citizenship and working to prevent grave crimes. And honestly, when people are committing these crimes they forfeit some of their rights. One of which usually ends up being in the form of a prison sentence. To handcuff the police from doing their job by not allowing simple, yet effective, tools like hidden microphones is ridiculous. Sweden finally realized that.