Sweden

Sweden regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Sweden's criminal law contains a general penalty-enhancement provision. Sweden includes defamation, hate speech and discrimination crimes in its data. Hate crime data are collected by the National Council for Crime Prevention and are based on information from the police and the prosecution authority. Since 2012, the number of hate crime cases is estimated based on a statistical sample of police reports. Hate crime reports are published annually. Victimization surveys, used to measure unreported crime, are also conducted annually.

SELECT YEAR

Official Data

Year Hate crimes recorded by police Prosecuted Sentenced About these data
2016 Not available Not available Not available
2015 4859 255 Not available
2014 4258 279 Not available
2013 3943 161 Not available
2012 5518 344 Not available

National developments

The Hate Crime Units in the Stockholm and South Police Regions were expanded. A new unit has been created in the West Region. Each unit consists of about ten employees. All police regions have elaborated action plans for increasing their ability to counteract hate crime.

The Swedish Police have identified and established co-operation with specialized hate crime prosecutors on a regional level. At the national level, co-operation takes place with the Prosecution Development Centre in Malmö, and has included joint police and prosecutors training sessions.

The Prosecution Development Centre in Malmö, which co-ordinates the Prosecution Authority's response to hate crimes, has summarized and updated its policy and published a Legal memorandum on hate crimes. This guidance document provides advice to prosecutors on investigation of hate crimes in order to ensure a coherent and effective approach across Sweden.

Three training sessions of two days each and an advanced pilot programme of five days were delivered as part of the national training for police on hate crimes. On a regional level, the specialized Hate Crime Units disseminated training to the front line police officers. An interactive online training on hate crime is under development for all police officers and will be made available through the police intranet, in addition to existing guidance on the identification and investigation of hate crimes.

As in every year, the police organized a national consultative forum to co-ordinate its action against hate crimes with civil society and affected groups, in addition to regional and local interactions. The police raised public awareness of hate crimes through social media and other topical involvement – such as participation in direct dialogue, media appearances, the production of three short films about hate crimes and participation in LGBT Pride festivals.

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Equality Ombudsman's Office co-ordinate collaboration, exchange of experiences and networking among local authorities in order to improve local responses to hate crimes.

The Crime Victim Fund of the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority and other public bodies sponsored a number of civil society initiatives to raise awareness of hate crimes among the LGBT community, the Afro-Swedish population, as well as the general public. Projects to develop tools for the authorities to improve their response to hate crime victims were also funded. Direct support to victims of hate crime and trainings for government by civil society groups have also received public funding.

Key observation

ODIHR observes that Sweden has not reported information on sentenced hate crime cases to ODIHR.