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Cantonal police face staff shortages

Some cantonal police departments are facing manpower shortages

(Keystone)

Many cantonal police departments in French-speaking Switzerland are facing severe staff shortages. The problem is so bad in some areas that the police are considering recruiting officers from the European Union.

Geneva's cantonal police have been suffering from a chronic shortage of staff for several years. The shortage of new recruits is linked to Switzerland's buoyant economy, difficult working conditions, and the job's lower image.

The head of Geneva's recruitment centre, Lieutenant Marbach, says there is little interest in the job because salaries are not competitive. Private companies in the security business now offer better working conditions.

Potential recruits are also turning to other institutions, such as municipal police, insurance companies, customs and the army, instead of the cantonal police.

Marbach says Geneva might have to consider recruiting in the EU, a solution already applied in the canton of Basel, where two foreign police officers have been hired.

Police in canton Neuchâtel and Schwyz are seriously considering the EU option. Fribourg accepts officers with dual nationality.

swissinfo with agencies

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