For several years, Linköping municipality has had problems with illegal settlements set up by mainly Roma migrants. Now they say they will try to solve the situation with the help of the police.
– We can’t have a situation where entire camps are moved from one place to another, so we are now working more closely with the police on the part of the municipality, says Social Democrat Kristina Edlund, chair of the municipal executive board.
Illegal settlements, mainly inhabited by people of Roma origin in countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, have for many years almost become normalized in many Swedish municipalities, including Linköping.
The settlements have caused not least sanitary problems with subsequent large costs in the form of decontamination. The police also report criminal activity linked to the settlements. On several occasions, for example, stolen goods have been found.
The municipality of Linköping notes that previous efforts for what it describes as “EU migrants” have not had the desired results and that many of them still make a living mostly from begging and illegal activities. The term “EU migrants” is a common euphemism for Roma that has been used by many Swedish journalists and politicians.
– Unfortunately, we have not eliminated poverty or illegal settlements by offering support to EU migrants here in Linköping. The problem can only be solved in the long term by Romania and Bulgaria, who must stop discriminating against their own citizens, says Niklas Borg of the Moderate Party, Vice Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board.
When an illegal settlement is discovered, the municipality explains, the police inform the residents that it is illegal. If necessary, the municipality also puts up signs in different languages informing about the matter. Those living in the camp are also given a date by which the settlement must be emptied.
If the residents do not comply, the police will carry out an eviction, if necessary together with the Enforcement Authority. Once the settlement is vacated, the area is then cleaned up.
In the past, there have been no clear procedures after an eviction has taken place, which has meant that the camps could be rebuilt in a short time, just a little further away.