Police database training delayed
Following the controversy over an illegal database of Roma in Sweden, the police still aren’t ready to start the promised training in do’s and don’ts for officers.
Last May the Swedish Police said that more or less all of its employees needed training to avoid creating another illegal database, like the one largely listing Roma, most of whom had committed no crime and which even included very young children. But, Swedish Radio News reports, the training plan that was supposed to be ready now at the end of the year, still isn’t finished.
“The way it looks now, we won’t have the instruction plan ready by the end of the year,” Eva Lindeblad, head of the police’s unit for judicial control, tells Swedish Radio News. “It wasn’t realistically possible to implement it in such a short time during the Fall.”
The police in Skåne violated the law when they created the Roma database, and the force in Södertorn, south of Stockholm, also acted illegally in creating a database of abused women. The authorities are currently investigating the legality of a database of beggars in this country, which Swedish Radio News reported on earlier this month.
In May a working group investigating the problem of the illegal databases proposed that a handbook and a training program for virtually all police employees be in place by the end of the year. Barbro Jönsson, who headed the group, says that many of the 28,000 police employees are uncertain what personal information can be kept.
“You get orders that we want to collect some information,” she says. “But at the same time, there isn’t any instruction about what you can do, and what you can’t do.”
Eva Lindeblad of the unit for judicial control says that so far police chiefs and other strategically placed personnel have received training. She thinks awareness of the issues is high, but needs to be better. The handbook that Barbro Jönsson’s working group proposed is almost done, but there still isn’t a training plan. Eva Lindeblad says the requirements for the plan will be established during the coming year, but she can’t say when there will be a program ready for implementation.
“We’re working as fast as we can to start this training package as soon as possible,” she says. But I can’t give an exact time yet.”