“We have received complaints from several places,” said Anna Gustafsson at Malmö police.
The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter – RFSL) are among those who have been critical of Malmö police.
“The Malmö police force is unfortunately known for a number of incidents that has led to low confidence among members of the LGBT community,” said RFSL head Ulrika Westerlund to the local Sydsvenskan daily.
While Gustafsson does not share the view that the police have managed the situation poorly, the new hotline is a renewed statement of intent.
“Through a professional approach to work against hate crimes the police reinforce the message that society does not tolerate these crimes,” she said in a statement.
The hotline – 0733 803700 – will function as a direct link between the public and the police in Malmö and Burlöv municipality and will be manned from 9am to 3pm on weekdays.
Hate crimes in Malmö have become a common feature of recent news reporting with a spate of attacks on synagogues and mosques over the past decade.
The government on Friday announced a new initiative in Malmö schools in a bid to address the problems faced by the city’s Muslim and Jewish populations.
“We need to make a special effort in Malmö and highlight the seriousness of the situation on behalf of the government,” said integration minister Erik Ullenhag.