law and order

More police officers - but fewer crimes solved

There are almost three thousand more police officers in Sweden than when the centre right alliance came to power. But, according to a review made by the daily Dagens Nyheter, the effects of the investment is quite the opposite to what was promised. Today, compared to 2006, fewer crimes are solved and it takes longer for police to arrive at the scene.

The difference is not enormous, a few percentage points here and there, but in all eleven categories of crime - from narcotics and assault to driving offences and economic crimes - results have gone down. And according to statistics from the National Police Board it is now more seldom than before that police manages to arrive at the scene within 15 minutes of that first 112-call.

In October 2006, when the plans were unveiled, it was said to be "the biggest investment in policing ever". Now the Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, tells Dagens Nyheter that she is disappointed. "It is not good enough," she says.

She does however point out that the latest research shows that Swedes feel safer and have increased trust in the judicial system.

Meanwhile, Bengt Svenson, the National Police Commissioner, tells news agency TT that the force is managing to solve more crimes now than five years ago – the reason that the percentages haven't gone up is because more crimes were reported in recent years. Nevertheless, Svenson admits that the force can be more effective.

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