Chief Inspector Gunnar Appelgren is the coordinator of the Mareld initiative, a police operation to clamp down on crime in Stockholm suburbs.
“We hope this will ease the pressure on our police staff. We also hope and believe that it will increase the clear-up rates – that is when we catch events on camera as they happen,” Appelgren told Swedish Radio.
The 300 body cameras will be used in high-priority areas such as the Stockholm suburbs of Rinkeby and Botkyrka.
“Police officers working in Rinkeby have stones thrown at them once every three days on average. They’re met by quite a lot of violence and different threats during interventions, and that also happens in other ways in Botkyrka and Södertälje,” Appelgren said.
The Stockholm effort is part of a pilot project within a national police camera project, and many other Swedish police regions have expressed interest in using body cameras. Trials have already been carried out in Gothenburg and Södertälje, and in the long run the cameras could be used across Sweden.
Police body cameras
- Swedish police have been using body cameras for several years, for instance at large football games or demonstrations.
- No permit is required for police body cameras, but the cameras may only be used for law enforcement purposes.
- The police are free to use body cameras in public places. Before entering someone's home, however, they must suspect a crime in order to be allowed to use the cameras.
- The use of police body cameras is regulated by the Police Data Protection Act and the Data Protection Act.
Source: The Swedish Data Protection Authority