This country profile was migrated from the legacy system and the new text is under consideration of the respective government authorities.

Policing overview: The National Police is the main law enforcement agency in Sweden and reports to the Ministry of Justice.

National Police

1. General information
2. Functions and missions
3. Structure and organization
4. Staff data
5. Education / Training
6. Oversight

1. General information
Sweden has a national police service, reporting to the Ministry of Justice, where the Division for Police Issues, including Public Order and Safety, is responsible for the police service and the Records Board.  It is also in charge of matters pertaining to terrorism. 

2. Functions and missions
The duty of the Swedish National Police is to safeguard the legal rights of the individual, prevent and detect crime and ensure that anyone who commits an offence is identified and brought to justice. With more than 25,000 employees working at the national or the local level, it is one of the largest Government services in Sweden.

3. Structure and organization
The police service comprises the National Police Board, the National Laboratory of Forensic Science and 21 police authorities, each responsible for the policing of the county in which it is situated.

  • The National Police Board (NPB) is the central administrative and supervisory authority for the police service. It is headed by the National Police Commissioner, who is appointed by the Government.
  • The National Laboratory of Forensic Science performs laboratory analyses of samples collected from various scenes of suspected crimes.
  • 21 police authorities, which operate within the same boundaries as the 21 counties in Sweden are responsible for police work at the local level, such as responses to emergency calls, crime investigations and crime prevention.

To view an organization chart please visit the Attachments section below.

4. Staff data
As of 2006, the Swedish Police Service comprised around 25,000 employees, 35% of whom were women. Uniformed policing staff numbered 17,500, 18% of whom were women, supported by 7,700 civil staff, 72% of whom were women.

5. Education / Training
The Swedish National Police Academy is the educational centre for the entire police service and is organized as a division of the Swedish National Police Board. The Academy has approximately 210 employees and had just over 1,000 students as of May 2006. The Academy offers basic as well as further training for both, uniformed and civil employees. The Police Academy is also responsible for acceptance of candidates to other international courses within the jurisdiction of the Association of European Police Colleges (CEPOL) and the network for the Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC).

Since 2000, basic training for police officers is also being carried out at Växjö University and Umeå University, and since 2002 it is also possible to become a police officer through remote studying.

For more detailed information, please visit the link to the Academy's official website in the Links section.

6. Oversight
Responsibility for supervision of the police is shared by several different bodies:

  • The National Police Board performs inspections to check that police work is carried out efficiently in accordance with the directives issued by the Government and Parliament and with due respect for the legal rights of the individual;
  • The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsmen is a supervisory body responsible for checking that public services and public servants adhere to legislation and regulations and treat citizens fairly;
  • The Office of the Parliamentary Auditors is an independent authority responsible to Parliament, which performs audits of public services to ensure that they make the best possible use of the resources placed at their disposal;
  • The Office of the Chancellor of Justice is a government body that supervises the public services;
  • The National Audit Office performs audits of government agencies aimed at promoting quality, efficiency and economical use of public resources.

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National Council for Crime Prevention

1. General information
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention has been in existence since 1974 and works on the commission of the Swedish Government, often in collaboration with other organizations and public sector agencies.

2. Functions and missions
The Councils mission is to reduce crime and improve levels of safety in society by producing data and disseminating knowledge on crime and crime prevention work. It also produces Sweden’s official crime statistics, evaluates reforms, conducts research to develop new knowledge and provides support to local crime prevention work.

3. Structure and organization
To view an organization chart of the Council, please view the Attachments section, where you will also find a link to more detailed information.

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Criminal Justice System

1. General information
The Swedish court system consists of general courts, administrative courts and special courts. General courts handle criminal cases and civil cases involving disputes between individuals, while administrative courts handle administrative matters, usually appeals against decisions made by municipal or governmental authorities.

2. Prosecution
The public prosecution service employs around 1 100 people, of whom 700 are prosecutors. There are 43 local offices which are led by chief district prosecutors. Thirty-five of these offices are general public prosecution offices, six are international public prosecution offices and two are national public prosecution offices, one dealing with anti-corruption and the other with suspicions of crime among police officers. The Prosecutor-General is the head of the public prosecution service and supervises the work of the public prosecution authorities.

At four locations in the country there are also public prosecution service development centres, tasked with promoting methodological development and legal changes in various crime areas.

A special prosecution agency – the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau – deals with cases of economic crime.

3. Penitentiary system
The Prison and Probation Service is responsible for the conveyance of prisoners and, in certain cases, also of other people deprived of liberty (e.g. deportees).  Its activities are conducted in remand prisons, non-institutional treatment agencies and prisons. People suspected of offences and who have been detained by a court while waiting for trial are held at remand prisons. There are 30 remand prisons in Sweden. There are 56 correctional institutions in Sweden. Activities at institutions are to be designed so that they promote inmates’ adjustment to society and prevent their deprivation of liberty having harmful effects. Non-institutional treatment is provided at 39 non-institutional treatment agencies. The task of non-institutional treatment agencies is to monitor clients sentenced to sanctions other than prison, and also to monitor offenders who have been released on parole.

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