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Crime prevention

Sharp rise in calls to crime victim associations

Published måndag 6 augusti 2012 kl 11.15
The number of victims seeking support from the Crime Victim Association's (BOJ) Stockholm Southeast division has doubled. Photo: Marc Femenia/Scanpix

More and more people seek help from the Victim Support Association, BOJ. But the organisation has not received additional resources to cope with the increased calls, Swedish Radio News reported.

"We don't have enough money to manage the workload," Monica Klitten, the only paid worker at BOJ's Stockholm Southeast division. About 1,500 people have sought help there so far this year, a 100 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

BOJ Stockholm Southeast is not the only division to feel the rising pressure. Of BOJ's 17 victim support divisions Swedish Radio News spoke with, all of them said there has been a significant increase.

BOJ's national call center reported a 25 percent increase in calls.

The increased interest in the victim associations has a simple explanation. Starting in December last year police are required to ask victims if they would like to get in touch with a victims' organisation, whether the crime was a stolen mobile phone or a robbery.

Sven-Erik Alhem, chairperson for BOJ's national association, told Swedish Radio News that the work should be valued more. BOJ wants additional resources from the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority, which co-finances the victim associations work together with the municipalities.

"BOJ provides a very simple service that can have enormous significance in terms of increasing the willingness of victims to serve as witnesses and plaintiffs," Alhem said.

The BOJ hotlines are largely volunteer-based operations. Volunteers do everything from helping victims write and file reports, to being present during trials.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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