Nationwide delays in police licensing services

The global situation and the in the coronary virus pandemic have increased the demand for documents in particular, congesting licensing services.

Efforts have been made to alleviate the ongoing problem throughout the spring, for example by hiring additional staff. Despite these efforts, queuing times are still long and the taken to process passport applications is months.

For example, in , appointments for passport or identity card applications are evenly reserved for the next two or two months.

Antero AulakoskiFrom the Oulu Police Department, explains not only the demand caused by the growing congestion pandemic but also the unstable situation in .

"People also want to ensure their by renewing their passports. No actual research has been done on the subject, but it has become clear in discussions with people," Aulakoski says.

However, most of the congestion is due to the lifting of travel restrictions on the around the .

Renewal queues

According to police statistics, more than 600,000 passports expired across the country during the pandemic, which is now reflected in the heavy congestion of licensing services.

"Now that the situation is normalizing and people want to travel and have taken the documents out of the box. At the same time, they find that their period of validity has expired or has expired, and they set out to renew," Aulakoski explains.

Police licensing services have been congested in the past, especially during the spring and early summer, but this year the situation is exceptionally difficult.

"Compared to last year, demand for passports tripled in the first four months of the year. Statistics for May are not yet available, but I think it only rose during that time," says Aulakoski.

Not only has the number of passport and ID card applications risen, but the number of other permits and permits issued by the police in the first quarter was double that of the same period in 2021.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman, an official who monitors the legality of the authorities’ actions, recently drew attention to difficulties in obtaining passports, which has led to the addition of temporary staff throughout the country to process applications.

Source: The Nordic Page

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