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Swedish police stealing confiscated goods

TT/The Local/cg · 1 Sep 2011, 08:49

Published: 01 Sep 2011 08:49 GMT+02:00

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In 82 cases over the past five years, the police have had to reimburse people for money and valuables stolen while in police custody, reported national TV channel Sveriges Television (SVT) on Tuesday.

A total sum of 334,470 kronor ($53,000) in compensation has been paid by the National Police Agency (Rikspolisstyrelsen).

Head of the agency Bengt Svensson said to SVT that he is disappointed that the police force has "that type of employees".

Thus far, the police have been reported 128 times in 2011 for goods that have gone missing following confiscation by police.

"We suspect that money is missing in 15 of these 128 cases, and in 39 cases other items are gone, such as mobile phones," Jan Friberg of the internal investigation department at the National Police said to news agency TT.

He doesn't know if the suspected thefts are increasing, nor how many cases have led to prosecution.

Kalle Wallin, the agency's administrative head, sees the many reports as a severe problem. Even though suspected cash thefts are relatively few, he considers them unacceptable.

"Every single case in which a police employee commits a crime is miserable, and a failure for the force. It hurts the public's confidence in our organisation," he said to TT.

According to Wallin, the National Police Board has already taken measures to reduce the alleged thefts, including information, new guidelines, and inspections.

"Now we're going to carry out further inspections, to find the flaws in our system," he said.

Minister for justice Beatrice Ask agrees that the thefts are a grave problem.

Story continues below…

"My view is the same as the head of the police agency: obviously, such things shouldn't occur," said the minister to TT.

She added that the police are best suited to finding methods to resolve this problem, and emphasised the importance of minimizing incidents.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:36 September 1, 2011 by dammen
What a surprise - all police are corrupt
09:44 September 1, 2011 by occassional
Who will guard the blue-eyed guardians?
10:02 September 1, 2011 by jacquelinee
"He doesn't know if the suspected thefts are increasing, nor how many cases have led to prosecution."

Let me take a wild guess how many cases have led to prosecutions........um, I'm thinking about the same number as in the medical malpractice cases. That would be a big, fat ZERO!
10:31 September 1, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
It cannot be true! Swedish police is not a corrupted force like in the fifth world countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany, Spain, Venezuela, China and Japan, amongst others. They might be lazy, but corrupted, never on Sunday. Perhaps on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but never on Sunday.
13:19 September 1, 2011 by diegoveggie
hhahhaha awesome
13:40 September 1, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I saw today 4 policemen and 4 policewomen between 9 and 9:30 a.m. that were not stealing at all. They were enjoying their daily breakfast at McDonalds in Lindvreten, in the neighbourhood of Kungenskurva. After the breakfast, who knows, but not during it. That, I swear. They were just having a nice chat, perhaps discussing the place where they should go to enjoy a tasty lunch. Burger King, next stop!
15:22 September 1, 2011 by Tysknaden
In some other countries, the policeman kill you before taking your stuff.
16:27 September 1, 2011 by stillwatersrd
The confiscated goods were not also 'evidence'? What happened to the cases?
17:29 September 1, 2011 by Scepticion
"The confiscated goods were not also 'evidence'? What happened to the cases?"

The cases were dropped due to lack of evidence. :-)

I'm surprised how fast court cases sometimes get dealt with here, seems faster than the health queues. Perhaps because most cases don't go to court? Often it seems there is not enough evidence to prosecute.
21:07 September 1, 2011 by colombianska_tjej
Just the confirmation of police forces are just the same all over the world
06:54 September 2, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I wonder what the total is when you add in stolen goods returned to the thieves like the boat motor was last week?
08:15 September 2, 2011 by Frank Arbach
......a perk of the job??

"Minister for justice Beatrice Ask agrees that the thefts are a grave problem." - are the Swedish police also taking stuff from dead people as well? Well my oh my - that really is beneath contempt. Lol!
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