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CRIME

Swedish police ‘worst’ in Scandinavia

Swedish police are the worst in the Nordic region when it comes to clearing up home break-ins, a crime which has increased dramatically in Sweden in recent years.

Swedish police 'worst' in Scandinavia

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.

“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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CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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