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Stina Holmberg, a senior advisor at Brå, says the figures on reported rapes could reflect a growing inclination to report crimes. Credit: Henrik Montgomery / TT

Reported rapes up by 10 percent in Sweden

4:46 min

Sweden saw a 10 percent increase in reported rapes in 2017, but a senior advisor at the National Council for Crime Prevention says it is not certain this indicates an actual spike in rapes.

There were over 7,000 reported rapes in Sweden in 2017 and Stina Holmberg, a senior advisor at the National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), tells Radio Sweden that there has been a steady increase in reported rapes for a couple of years now.

Yet Holmberg also points out that Brå's report says little about the alleged perpetrators and that "it's important to understand that reported crimes is not a very reliable source of information when you want to know if rapes have increased or not".

It is unclear, Homberg says, whether rapes are becoming more common in Sweden or whether it is the inclination to report them that has increased.

Two other factors also affect rape statistics in Sweden: the broadened legal definition of rape brought in in 2005, and the way the reports are filed.

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