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Police keep missed targets under wraps

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The Stockholm police force failed to meet more than half of its targets for cutting crime in the capital last year. The targets were set by the police board but in the annual report for 2004 there is no mention of them.

Indeed, the annual report gives a decidedly rosy picture of the police’s performance last year, but according to Swedish Radio’s Ekot programme 9 out of 16 objectives were missed.

For example, the police were set the goal of reducing burglaries by 5%. In fact, the number of break-ins in the city rose by 25% and the matter was left out of the annual report.

Gunnar Thun is the head of Stockholm police’s research and development department and led the internal investigation into the police’s reporting procedures. He told Ekot that politicians and the public “only get to know what the police want them to know”.

“They have no real opportunity to get the full truth,” he said, adding that it is more important for police chiefs to demonstrate success than to reflect reality.

The chairman of the Stockholm police board, Kristina Axén Olin, distanced herself from the production of the report, pointing out that it was simply presented to the board and not something she could influence.

“Clearly this is very serious,” she said.

While Stockholm police was being ticked off for its selective reporting, the Uppsala force has been applauded for its work in last year’s Knutby investigation.

According to a report from the National Police Board and the Office of the Prosecutor-General which was made public on Tuesday, “the cooperation between the police and the prosecutor ought to serve as a model for future major crime investigations”.

Both offices have studied the Knutby investigation since last autumn, wrote the paper Upsala Nya Tidning, and the overall process got top marks – despite several serious failings.

The main criticism concerned the investigation after the death of pastor Helge Fossmo’s first wife in December 1999. The report argued that a thorough forensic examination of the bathroom where she was found should have taken place.

Sources: SR, UNT, TT

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