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Swedish police 'worst' in Scandinavia

25 May 2012, 11:43

Published: 25 May 2012 11:43 GMT+02:00

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Police in Sweden only manage to solve 4 percent of home burglaries, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Sweden's clearance rate pales in comparison to that of Finland, where police succeed in clearing up between 22 and 26 percent of break-ins.

Meanwhile, Danish police solve 7 percent, while police in Norway clear up 15 percent of burglaries, leaving Swedish police ranked last among its Nordic and Scandinavian neighbours.

In the last ten years, the number of reported home break-ins in Sweden has risen by 34 percent nationwide.

And of the 22,000 home burglaries reported in 2011, Swedish police managed to solve 920.

"Obviously, we should solve more crimes and aren't happy with everything," Kalle Wallin with the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) told DN.

In explaining Sweden's relatively poor performance compared to its neighbours, Wallin said that it can be hard to compare statistics from one country to another.

"Statistics isn't an exact science. It's hard to compare them. There are different ways for dealing with statistics," he said.

Police researcher Stefan Holgersson, a former police officer, attributes the low clearance rate to changes in how the Swedish police force is organized which took place in the mid-1990s.

"That destroyed a working organization and the clearance rate dropped," he told DN.

"It's been that way for every subsequent organizational change. They haven't focused on how the operation can be as strong as possible, but more on presenting a picture of a functioning operation."

However Wallin hinted at that Sweden's recently expanding burglary bubble may be about to burst.

Story continues below…

"We've seen a break in the trend this year with 400 fewer break-ins this year compared to the same period last year," he said, attributing the drop to new efforts focusing on career criminals and repeat offenders.

"We're starting to see results from that," he told DN.

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Your comments about this article

12:06 May 25, 2012 by Abe L
I don't think this is exactly news or required a posting in the first place. This is well known with every Swedish citizen. The police is never there when you need them and doesn't solve any crime, but if you drive a little to fast they always appear out of nowhere to pull you over and hand you an absurdly high ticket.

I'd much rather see a posting about how the police is going to fix their poor performance and put more burglars behind bars.
12:49 May 25, 2012 by Scott McCoy
Not a surprise,Swedish police are a joke.
12:56 May 25, 2012 by occassional
Nothing new here. They are lackadaisical, non proactive (or active for that matter) and can and never match the mindset let alone the brutality of the miscreants they are after. Not to mention their shooting and aiming skills.

On the plus side they are for the most part good looking and wear cool uniforms.
13:12 May 25, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
Well my wife always told me that the only thing police does there is give people speeding tickets on the highways. When something actually happens, they are not there, do not care or do not even come.

Well, I guess she was not overdoing it.
13:23 May 25, 2012 by Scepticion
Quite agree with HelmiVainikka. Several burglaries and thefts both at work and home. The police never showed up once to collect evidence. How can they arrest anybody like that? The 4% solved crimes are probably cases where the burglar caught themselves .... http://www.thelocal.se/40986/20120523/

Anyway, in some way one might understand the police. Even if they catch a thief, most cases might be dropped by an idiot court, and even if the thieves get sentenced, they are soon out again after a nice vacation at a state institution.
13:44 May 25, 2012 by just a question
The law protects the criminals. So why even bother?
13:53 May 25, 2012 by Migga
Even in the few cases where they catch the theifs they only get a slap on the wrist. Crime pays in Sweden since there is such a small risk for getting caught and punished. You get let out again after a few months. The punishments should be raised on crimes.
14:50 May 25, 2012 by DAVID T
"In the last ten years, the number of reported home break-ins in Sweden has risen by 34 percent nationwide"

Matches the immigration policy
15:47 May 25, 2012 by eppie
@abe l

You make these comments more often. Where are you living? Next to a police station? I never notice anything from swedish police officers fining people for traffic violations. And I have facts on my side. Go to any other civilized country and you will find police much more active in traffic.

And about the story...let's not forget that solving a burglary is not very easy. If the bruglar did not leave any trace you basically have nothing to investigate.......apart from looking on blocket to see if the stolen goods are being sold.
17:38 May 25, 2012 by bells on the knight

I guess with your reasoning the thieves must be outstandingly stupid in finland and norway since the police manage to solve many more burglaries there.

OR they must be sooo much more intelligent in Sweden.... OR maybe the police in Sweden is somewhat of the lesser gifted kind.
17:58 May 25, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
@eppie #9

I can not agree with you on that.

My wife (an "ethnic Swede" as some would call) personally had more than enough unpleasant experiences with how the police is working in Sweden. She used to live in the middle of the country (medelpad), and even though she lived in a relatively small community that is miles from being called a "ghetto", crimes there were more common then rainy weather in England.

There were constantly people having burglars visiting them in their apartments or in their stores, drunken driving, vandalism and local politicians (greens and one from SD) getting beaten up for not agreeing with the killing of wolves. And of course, people then have a great need of reliable police officers for help, but whoever, and for whatever reason they contacted them, the officers simply didn't give a damn.

My wife's family owns a clothing store, which unfortunately got robbed more then once, and in all cases the police "didn't have time to come" or simply came hours after the reported robbery were sent in. In one case a person who lived in an apartment above the store witnessed as the store got robbed, and contacted the police, which for some reason didn't bother to come to the scene 10 minutes away from them, until 3 hours after the robbery, in which of course the robbers already where miles away, and now unreachable. The eyewitness, who interrupted the robbers so they didn't luckily manage to take anything with them, never got to make a statement on what they looked like, or what car they had, but instead it was marked as "well, they didn't manage to take anything, they are gone, case closed".

Or how a numerous amount of cases were reported to the police from people who had someone breaking in to their houses, stealing anything of value, and disappearing in a rented car, car was reported, and even traced as it left the northern part of Sweden and headed down south, but the people where not arrested, instead they simply disappeared to whatever country they came from.

Or a very known drunk driver, who during several occasions drove on sidewalks, one time almost running over a women with a newborn baby in a baby-wagon, who just barely managed to jump aside, having the wagon flying to the ground and baby flying out of it ( luckily unharmed ), and the man in question who drove the car, got a short time in custody, his drivers license pulled and his car forbidden on the streets. Not long after, he was free, and he was roaming the streets again, without license, and with a new car. It is worth mentioning that this man has done this many times in the past. Why is it that a known drunken driver, who almost killed people on several occasions, get away with such a mild punishment? Ask the cops in Ljungaverk.
18:42 May 25, 2012 by Swedishmyth
They might catch more burglars if fewer of them were stationed by the highway with their cute little detectors.
21:59 May 25, 2012 by dizzymoe33
This is what happens when so many illegals enter your Country they have no respect for the Country!!

But it sounds like the Swedish police need some better training?!
00:27 May 26, 2012 by HandsomeAmerican
i'm from the bronx, new york. perhaps i should come there and be a break-in man. i would be rich in a month
16:55 May 26, 2012 by AW_S
and what norwiegan police?
17:19 May 27, 2012 by Borilla
Although probably not a bad idea considering the place and origin of the cruise, it did seem a bit much to have six policemen administering breath tests to every driver leaving the Tallinn ferry on a Monday morning. I repeat my previous opinion, these are village police without a clue about how big city police work really functions. The expert's statement really covers it all, the police force in Sweden is more interested in presenting a picture of a functioning police force than actually being one.

However, @ Abe L, you always harp on the traffic policing. Maybe, if you would obey the law and drive at or below the speed limit, you troubles would disappear.
02:02 May 30, 2012 by mcarroll1
Its funny how the police spokesman denies the researchers statistics as unreliable yet quotes his own stats as fact. Lies, damned lies and statistics.
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