Police registry on Roma

Commission says Skåne database "partly" illegal

The Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection said a secret database on Sweden's Roma people is "in many respects illegal", but stopped short of accusing police of basing the registry solely on ethnicity.

The most serious problem the Commission had with the controversial list is that its scope was too large. According to the Commission, the database's "vague purpose provides no framework for the collection of personal data." That meant legal safeguards to protect people's privacy were sidelined, it adds.

The Commission does not believe it was necessary to include all the names found in the database since there was no clear connection between the suspected crimes and the individuals, but adds there is no evidence that names were on the list purely due to their ethnicity.

"We have not asked who is responsible for this. That is something for the prosecutor," said Sigurd Heuman, chairman of the Commission.

Robert Nikolic, host of the Roma youth channel Radio 123 in Malmö, said he does not think Friday's report will change how police operate.

"The question is what to do about it. I really hope the police are improving. But I can not trust them anymore," he told news agency TT.

Nikolic said many young people are angry about the registration and are afraid to broadcast their backgrounds.

"Many young people do not dare to tell me that they are Roma today," Nikolic said.

The commission examined the database kept by Skåne police after it was revealed authorities were registering Roma people and their family members. Some 5,000 names were listed in the registry, including children and the deceased.

The Commission on Security and Integrity Protection is tasked with supervising Sweden's law enforcement and surveillance agencies.

It will now look into what disciplinary actions have been taken by the Skåne police force against the officers that created the database.