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Swedish police improve rape case processing rate, but violent crime slips

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Swedish police improve rape case processing rate, but violent crime slips
File photo of a Swedish police car. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
15:43 CET+01:00
The number of cases processed by Sweden's police and sent to prosecutors increased in 2017 for the first time since 2010, with the rate improving considerably when it comes to rape cases.

The total number of cases processed by police during 2017 increased by 3.1 percent compared to 2016, according to new figures released by the Swedish Police. The processing rate improved in seven out of ten crime categories, ranging from fraud to crimes against the person, damage infliction and traffic crimes.

This improvement was particularly marked in rape cases, of which 11 percent more were handed over to prosecutors. But at the same time, the number of rape cases filed with the police increased by 16 percent.

READ ALSO: Swedish government orders investigation into rise in reported rapes

When it comes to violent crime in general the trend was negative, with a 2.7 percent decrease in violent crimes processed.

"We have a major challenge. Murders in gang areas, rape, sex crimes against young people online and other serious and difficult to investigate crimes are increasing in our society. That required major resources and impacts the capacity of the police to tackle crime in the everyday lives of citizens. That's why we need strong efforts from several societal forces to hamper and prevent serious criminality," Sweden's national police chief Dan Eliasson said in a statement.

Police in Sweden have complained about a lack of resources and dwindling staff numbers in recent years, with a difficult working environment and low salaries blamed by unions for officers leaving their jobs prematurely.

It is hoped that a new expansion of police training will lead to an increase of police officers by the end of 2018. In total 1,500 more police officers are being trained.

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