Police 'letting down beaten women': report

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Police 'letting down beaten women': report
Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Of the 80,000 reported cases of domestic violence in relationships from 2008 to 2012 only 17,000 were cleared up, according to a new report, which details significant variations among police forces across Sweden.


"If we want women who are subjected to male violence to notify the police and seek support, society must show that it takes these crimes seriously by investigating all complaints in a professional manner throughout Sweden," said Magnus Lindgren at Tryggare Sverige (Safer Sweden), the foundation behind the report. 
According to the foundation's statistics, only 21 percent of reported case of domestic violence were cleared up and the figure declines over the period studied, from 23 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2012.
"This fall is at the same time as police and prosecutors have been allocated more resources, and so it's strange," Lindgren said in a statement.
The report shows wide variations in police enforcement efficiency across the country. The police authority in Kronoberg was able to clear up 29 percent of cases linking a perpetrator to the crime, while the figure in Norrbotten was only 17 percent. Stockholm and Örebro also performed poorly.
Lindgren explained the differences lie in that some forces have more developed knowledge and have undergone specialized training while others have not. 
"Each authority has to ask 'how many reports of violence against women do we receive every year, how long does a normal investigation take, how many staffers do we have with the skills we need? '."
"But those questions are never asked," Lindgren said.
The foundation argued that the solution is a management issue and Magnus Lindgren criticized the appointment of Stockholm police commissioner Carin Götblad to head a state task force on the issue.
"In what other industry would the worst manager in the class, who shows the worst results in terms of protecting endangered persons, and also who is the worst when it comes to solved crimes, be appointed national coordinator?"
"I think it is a sign of poor judgement by the government," he said.
The National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) last week announced a review of police performance with regards to domestic violence.
"This is a question of reviewing what has been done in each case, what was not done and what should have been done. Are there systemic shortcomings or could the police could have done more to prevent the crime," National Police Commissioner Bengt Svenson said in a statement.
According to the National Police Board 15-20 women are killed by relatives in Sweden each year.


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