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Sweden to crack down on silly police reports

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Sweden to crack down on silly police reports
A police spokesman told The Local they receive many complaints from people who lose their car keys. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX
17:25 CEST+02:00
The Swedish government announced on Thursday that is is going to launch an investigation into valuable police time being wasted by officers forced to deal with unnecessary reports and complaints.

Sweden's interior minister Anders Ygeman on Thursday said that the government would investigate how the police responds to unnecessary complaints from the public.

The minister suggested that police either drop the complaints without processing them or simply stop taking such calls altogether. 

Ygeman also had some advice for those thinking of wasting police time. 

“You should not notify the police if an eagle has abused a rabbit or even that a shower jet is too hard or that you have received an ugly sweater for Christmas,” Interior Minister Anders Ygeman told TT. 

“If you receive an ugly sweater from your mother for Christmas you should take it up with her and not with the police.” 

Another problem, he said, is that many police reports are made because they are required by insurance companies in order to give out compensation. 

“Today it means that the police are bound to take measures that do not help to solve crimes,” he said. 

Ygeman believes that it would benefit everyone if insurance companies did not require a police report when it comes to minor offences, such as a stolen bike or a camera. 

Ultimately, he said, insurance companies are the losers because important police resources are wasted instead of solving serious crimes such as car theft or burglary where even heftier compensation payments are required. 

Stefan Marcopoulos, a spokesperson for the police, told The Local: “If it's obvious that it [the call] doesn't concern a crime, then we drop it more or less immediately."

He added that police received a fair amount of complaints about lost car keys because people's insurance companies require them to report it in those situations.  

Interview and additional research by Elin Jönsson

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