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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

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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??
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