Four out of ten police officers have been threatened or violated in connection with their work in the past year. At the same time, more than one in ten have been victims in their free time.
The survey, conducted by research company Novus on behalf of the Swedish Police Association (Polisförbundet), shows that 37% of Swedish police officers have been subjected to threats, violence and harassment in connection with their work in the past year. In addition, eleven percent say they have been targeted in their free time.
– It is always unacceptable for police officers to be subjected to threats and violence, but when it happens outside working hours, when the police are not on duty, another line is crossed, says Katharina von Sydow, president of the Swedish Police Association, in a press release.
The police officers in the survey call for more police officers, stricter legislation and identity protection as possible measures to address the problem. The crime of threatening a police officer should also be expanded to include threats against family members, for example. Better supervision and fewer instances of lone working are also called for.
– Solo work should not occur because it takes at least two police officers to make a safe and legally sound intervention. Nevertheless, there are situations where our members are the only police officers on the ground, said von Sydow.
The survey was conducted between October 18 and November 7. 1043 police officers responded, with a response rate of 46%.