Sweden lowers intelligence requirement for police recruits

1:33 min

Sweden estimates it will need thousands more police officers in the coming years, and in order to boost flagging recruitment numbers the national police force will lower the requirement for its intelligence test result.

Last spring the nation had 300 spots to fill at its national police academy but only 266 applicants passed the admissions process and began training.

To fill those remaining spots, the force will lower the bar on its admission exam, said Stefan Annell, a psychologist at the Swedish Defence Recruitment Agency which handles the recruitment process for the police.

"What has changed is that the minimum requirement is reduced from a four to a three. That means there will be more people who go on to interviews and to take the personality test," Annell told Swedish Radio. 

This will mean applicants can have lower theoretical capacity, or general problem solving ability, he adds.

Other changes will be instituted, as well. Rejected applicants who failed the exam will no longer have to wait a year or two before reapplying.

Law enforcement officials said, however, that the department was not lowering the overall requirements to become a police officer. Bengt-Åke Nilsson, head of human resources at the police force, said the change affects just one part of the recruitment process.

"You need to look at the entire admission process to the police academy. To say that the requirements are lowered is a little too hard. It does not reflect the entire admission process," he said.