The police are accused of trying to cover up how badly they have been struggling. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT
The police are accused of trying to cover up how badly they have been struggling. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

Police criticised for covering up refugee work

Researcher: police trying to avoid negative publicity.
0:23 min

Swedish police are reported to have kept secret the amount of work they do linked to the refugee crisis, and a researcher who is a serving officer himself says this is a serious problem.

Incidents linked to the refugee crisis have been hived off by police into an operation called "Alma," and a document seen by newspaper Dagens Nyheter is said to be an order from police bosses to keep this work secret.

Researcher and police officer Stefan Holgersson tells Radio Sweden that this control over what information the public knows is a common police tactic, and in this case the Swedish police are trying to cover up how they are struggling to keep working at acceptable levels during the refugee crisis.

"It's important for the police to show that they can solve these tasks, but if they show the problem, and show how little resources they've put in some areas, this will be negative publicity for the police," says Stefan Holgersson.

He adds that the politicians and police have a close connection, because the high-ranking officers want to satisfy the politicians, and that the Swedish police has a culture of silence, which makes internal criticism hard.

The head of the Alma operation itself is Stefan Hector. He says to Swedish Radio News that the issue has been blown out of proportion and that the police acted normally by keeping these investigations secret. "Our basic attitude is that we say as much as we can."

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