• Sweden edition
 
Racial profiling in Sweden
Police deportation sting fails in nine of ten cases

Police deportation sting fails in nine of ten cases

Published: 25 Feb 2013 10:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2013 10:27 GMT+01:00

Nine of ten people stopped by Stockholm police on suspicion of being illegal immigrants were in Sweden legally, new statistics show.

In January, police in the Swedish capital stopped 716 people to perform an "internal border control", but only 42 people proved to be in the county without residency rights, the Metro newspaper reported.

Statistics for the months of December and February are characterized by a similar margin of error of around 90 percent.

"That's a high margin of error," Sören Clerton, head of the border control division of Sweden' National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen, NBI) told the newspaper.

"That's a figure that should be as low as possible."

Clerton admitted it was impossible for police to guarantee that no one be stopped because of their appearance or language. He promised that police would review their procedures to see if there was anything wrong with their methods.

Simon Andersson, a PhD candidate in legal procedure, criticized the police's high margin of error.

"You need a very strong reason to believe someone doesn't have the right to be here," he told Metro

"The Swedish people don't want people stopped for looking foreign, and it's very strange to use another pretence, like fare-skipping, to stop people."

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:51 February 25, 2013 by Rishonim
Seems the Swedish gestapo tactics are not working. This is a good eye opener Mr. Svenxxon..,.Not every dark skin person is a criminal or is living illegally in Sverigeland. Shame on the Swedish authorities for abusing and dehumanizing its dark skin citizens and residents. Thank goodness we are living in an era where news travel rapidly so people in other parts of the world can see how terrible bad dark skin people have it in Sweden..//./../
11:03 February 25, 2013 by arslan11
I am a foreigner but I fully endorse the police effort. I don't mind being stopped every morning for a brief ID check.

This will indeed help tax paying and legally staying foreigners as the uneducated criminals living illegally should be thrown out. I sincerely hope that Sweden should also change its policy of granting asylum to unskilled parasites enjoying overseas holidays after some years on tax money.
11:04 February 25, 2013 by johan rebel
How many people are on the deportation list? About 7,600 if I'm not mistaken. That's not even one-tenth of one percent of the country's population. Yet 10% of those stopped turn out to be illegals? That's an amazingly high success rate, which proves that profiling works really well.

The police are to be congratulated on this great result.

Way to go!
11:05 February 25, 2013 by arslan11
I am a foreigner but I fully endorse the police effort. I don't mind being stopped every morning for a brief ID check.

This will indeed help tax paying and legally staying foreigners as the uneducated criminals living illegally should be thrown out. I sincerely hope that Sweden should also change its policy of granting asylum to unskilled parasites enjoying overseas holidays after some years on tax money.
11:34 February 25, 2013 by TG22
Well one in ten is not that great but still worth it...
11:45 February 25, 2013 by Max Reaver
Just wait before all the defensive posts are coming up.

"OMG that's a stunning 10% success rate!!! It's SOOOOO much higher than the conviction rates of any crime in Sweden!!! The police should keep up!!! How dare you even think its RACIST??? Check that person up!!! He must be an illegal immigrant cos he doesn't like the policy!!!"

Way to go Swedes. If you have to resort to racial profiling to catch illegal immigrants, then you are either completely incompetent or racist, or both.
11:49 February 25, 2013 by matressmonkey
That seems like an extremly HIGH rate of success and I am glad to see the Local making its bias and its ignorance so obvious with its headline! If say 1% of everyone in Sweden is illegal, yet police tactics are yielding a 6% to 10% success rate, those tactics are extremely efficient by any statistical measure.
11:50 February 25, 2013 by Rishonim
Arslan, maybe you can collaborate and rat out a few people (métèques) to the police you suspect may be illegally living in the country. People like you are plentiful and to great extent always willing to assist to the humiliation to those you deem to lesser value. mortacci tua
12:05 February 25, 2013 by sbf325
Once again an article in The Local leaves me scratching my head... 10% of people stopped by police were criminals, and the author considers that an abject failure?? That sounds to me like an amazing success. What if 10% of drivers at a sobriety checkpoint were intoxicated? Would The Local consider that a failure as well??
12:06 February 25, 2013 by muugii
As a foreigner i dont want to be stopped for minor problems like this. Actually, the most overrepresented group of tax cheaters is immigrants, why do not people care about bogus students who cheat on CSN loan while working in Norway or elsewhere, why don't talk about people cheating on unemployment money while illegaly working? Arslan11 FYI, large porportion of your legally paying taxes goes to pension fund, or other funds support mainly Swedish racionals.
12:21 February 25, 2013 by RobinHood
One in ten foreign looking travellers on the Stockholm metro is an illegal immigrant. Thats's an incredibly high figure that must cost Swedish taxpayers huge amounts of money.

What is going to be done about it?
12:28 February 25, 2013 by Freelife
So all the non-dark skinned people live legally everywhere!?
12:43 February 25, 2013 by garbagecanman
Not to forget, if the police for example looked at 50/50 Swedish/not Swedish looking just to pretend to be fair, that would make the success rate or the targeted group twice what the number is saying. I work with a guy who is very much so Swedish and blond and he got stopped because he is always cheating and not paying.
12:54 February 25, 2013 by TG22
If you are afraid to be stooped is probably because you have something yo hide...
12:56 February 25, 2013 by Rishonim
The message Sweden is sending to dark skinned people is simple: We will not hire you in our companies and you will be harassed while you are on your way to look for work.
13:35 February 25, 2013 by ?????
@TG22

Nice thought. Let me buy you a ticket to North Korea where you won't have a problem being stopped for looking "too Western". Even if you don't have anything to hide...
13:55 February 25, 2013 by amkpe
@arslan Mr.Good Citizen! I should bring it to your knowledge that illegal immigrants are deprived from any type of social benefits and medical care plans. Therefore, no one's tax money is going anywhere. In fact I would be happy to find out how did you start your life in Sweden? Wasn't it through the Swedish tax payer's money to start your free education here? hmmm, Do you hear me,Lebowski ?
13:58 February 25, 2013 by Alexey-nsk
The police do their job - protecting the law of his country. I have no problem if I have nothing to hide - I'm a tourist or a citizen.
14:15 February 25, 2013 by Kronaboy
@matressmonkey

Yes it will be relatively successful in the beginning until the illegal immigrant population learns which stops to avoid or starts taking precautions such as alternative transport methods, however the point is the police will continue to alienate the 90% who are legal.

@arslan11

You know I don't mind reading the racists on this site at least they are standing for something they belive in; but if there is one thing I hate its uncle toms like you who look down upon those whom your European masters have deemed below you. I hope one day you suffer the humiliation of being stopped and searched in front of your family so that you can realise the humiliation of just standing there and having to take it or even worse having to watch your mother or father mishandled.
14:21 February 25, 2013 by Migga
The police should check that foreigners papers are in order and correct, there is no perfect way to go about it. If one in ten is here illegally then that`s alot of criminals and shows that there is a need for the police to check their ID`s.

@ Freelife

Who`s said that the police only stops dark skinned people?
14:41 February 25, 2013 by TG22
@Rishonim, well don't come here then...
15:10 February 25, 2013 by Rishonim
@Tg22, I am a EU citizen, I am a US citizen, I have permanent residency in CH, I can live and work freely in the Mercosur so there you got it my dear little mouse. I can go about and live pretty much everywhere i feel like, and there is nothing you can do about it.
15:28 February 25, 2013 by TG22
@Rishonim: You are the one complaining... dear...
15:36 February 25, 2013 by garbagecanman
My father is from Syria and my mother UK and white. All us kids look white so whenever we travel we go right through customs except pops who always get pulled over. We just laugh. When he shows up an hour later we give him a hard time. Then we go to Egypt and he goes right through and they stop me and mom. Let the cops do what they need to. Who cares. So many people like to find an excuse to get pissed off and feel like a victim. If they want to stop me because I am having black hair then stop me. I understand and I don't care. If they don't stop my blond girlfriend then she can wait two minutes for me, no problem. What makes Sweden nice is that laws and customs tend to be followed without policing so if people are here illegal and then break the subway rules they may not want to be part of what makes this country special.
16:29 February 25, 2013 by Rishonim
@garbage,

It is not about the police doing their job but rather harassing people just because their skin colours are different. You cannot give the police free hand to go about and stop every black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and South Asian looking person, simple because Swedish immigration policies has failed to control its borders. Some of the recent terror activities has been carried out by people with middle eastern profile, hence would it be fair to say that if a middle eastern person enters the underground or a coffee shop, they should be stopped and searched?
16:49 February 25, 2013 by TG22
" Some of the recent terror activities has been carried out by people with middle eastern profile, hence would it be fair to say that if a middle eastern person enters the underground or a coffee shop, they should be stopped and searched?"

Absolutely...
17:25 February 25, 2013 by Migga
@ Rishonim

The police isn`t there to harass people because of their skincolour. They are there to check that you are who you say you are and that you are allowed to stay. If your papers are in order you should be happy to show the police that you are a legal immigrant. It`s that simple. Nothing more. It isn`t some sort of racist conspiracy. Stop twisting things around. If one out of ten is illegal that proves their work is needed.
19:43 February 25, 2013 by johan rebel
Once upon a time, I knew a girl who was young, blue-eyed, a natural blonde and pretty. When she showed up at the gate for an international flight without a boarding card (she had somehow forgotten to check in. yeah, blonde) I asked her how she had managed to get through the security and immigration checkpoints without her boarding card. "Just watch me next time", she replied. That I did. At immigrations she just held her closed passport above her head and walked right past the immigrations booth. The officer on duty gave her a smile and waved her on. I was right behind her, and got called over rudely.

The moral? Life ain't fair. Just get on with it.
19:58 February 25, 2013 by Texrusso
Well depends on whom they stop. I will never show any police man or whoever my ID on the street without any valid reason. They will have a hard time with me. I will be in Stockholm this week, so, I guess I will be sleeping in cell and will not show any ID, probably will end up with them in a law suit. If I feel I am been target by my color, I will never show any ID. If you want to abuse my right and waste tax payers money, I will have enough time to protect my rights and enough time to waste tax revenues. This is practice is purely RACIST and should be discontinued. This is like saying it is ok for the government to ignore fixing a particular pot hole in an area because you do not drive through that road. This attitude violates the basic human right and universal principle held in the Swedish constitution. And when the government will violate the right of a swede to get what they want, then its not ok because you are Swedish but ok in other situation. What none-sense.
22:23 February 25, 2013 by AfroSwede
I just pray and wish the police stop me and search tomorrow morning when am going to work.
11:36 February 26, 2013 by Scambaiter
@ #9 "10% of people stopped by police were criminals"?? That is an abject fail of a comment.

1. Overstays are not "criminals", they're in Sweden illegally.

2. 90% of the people racially profiled by the Stockholm police were nither "criminals" or even overstays. They were legal residents. That is massive discrimination, not success.

The very small minority of genuine foreign criminals should, of course, be caught and put in jail -- just like Swedish criminals -- or deported if they're found guilty after they've done their time. But that requires genuine police work.

In fact, genuine foreign criminals should preferably be stopped at the border before entering the country.

In the meantime, I -- like Texrusso and Afro Swede -- hope and pray I get stopped by the bizzies at Centralen and have my ID checked because I will kick up such a stink.

The moral? Life ain't always fair, but I'm not going to let racists and bigots, especially instiutional ones, walk all over my rights as a resident and a taxpayer.
18:29 February 26, 2013 by The Poetician
@ TG 22. I was a Brussels airport gate check, behind me was a middle eastern looking couple ( dark hair, fair skin) mumbling in some weird language..I took a furtive look at their passports, guess what they were isrealis..

Comnclusion: Add Israelis to your list of terror suspects and search them too next time you see them at Metro station..!!
22:03 February 26, 2013 by AfroSwede
@Scambaiter, spot on. What must people dont understand is that this is a systematic racial abuse of people of color regardless of their status in here. Ask any Swede if a police in Thailand or Bangkok ask them to identify them self in the metro based on their color if they will not feel racially offended?. Well I am not surprise about the actions of the police because election is on the corner, they are pushing the right wings agenda to spark immigration debate to shift the conversation from the coalition economic failures.
08:47 February 28, 2013 by robban70226
10% are illegal and living from us, I see the process positive, eventually the polis will be better in contacting the illegal ons, good job for the polis, if you have nothing to hide why will you care? Iit is for the good of the society
10:44 February 28, 2013 by Max Reaver
I posted a link to a commentary from SvD, but it didn't go through... Don't know why the comment section is still bugged here.

Anyway, Henrik Bergquist, a Swedish expert in human rights suggest that the racial profiling of Stockholm police can be sued and the case brought up to the European Court of Justice. If any of the person who got force-checked does that, Sweden will inevitably lose in the upcoming trial. Just something to think about, if it's the right thing to do then why is it such a crime? For those of you who support the policy, think about how much of your tax money will go to the penalty fine if EU made their sentence.
21:50 March 2, 2013 by kalbininkas
I hope I get asked for my documents. I won't show anything. I'll be more than happy to waste ths cops' time and the Swedes' tax money by being taken to the station. The irony is that in my country we do have real cops.
15:41 March 4, 2013 by djmarko
There are quite a lot of Brits and US citizens who are not white, surely they must feel offended if they are singled out in public, its very embarrasing to say the least, are the police going to deport them back to London for not having ID?? People say if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about, what about human dignity??
Today's headlines
Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com