Sweden to crack down on silly police reports

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 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

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime