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Voices on reporting threats and hate to the police

Aida Badeli, politically elected representative, Irena Pozar, journalist, Patrik Lundberg, author and journalist and Irena Pozar, journalist talk about reporting threats and hate to the police.

Aida Badeli, politically elected representative, says: Many people think it’s not worth it to report it to the police. “Was the comment so serious? Should I take the time to go to the police station?”

Irena Pozar, journalist, says: I believe that you should file a police report regardless because we need all of the statistics to be able to push this issue and put pressure on politicians and authorities.

Patrik Lundberg, author and journalist, says: It’s important to file a police report. Fair is fair. People should not be able to threaten people who are exercising their freedom of speech.

Irena Pozar, journalist,: It’s really important to report it to the police even if you don’t think that it will make a difference. Because if you don’t report it, nothing will happen for real.

An interview with Daniel Godman, Police Authority, about making a police report when you've been subjected to threats and hatred.
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To report threats and hatred

An interview with Daniel Godman, Police Authority, about making a police report when you've been subjected to threats and hatred.

Interview with Daniel Godman, Police Authority 

“Why is it important to fight threats and hate against participants in the democratic discourse?”

“All citizens have fundamental rights and freedoms. Crimes against democracy are very much about special democracy-supporting functions being prevented from participating in the public discourse and in open debate through crime. This may be journalists, elected politicians in municipalities and county councils or artists. It’s important that these professional categories can continue to report and write. Above all elected representatives who are to make decisions that affect many people. It’s incredibly important that they can work fully without self-censorship.”

“What do I do if I’ve been subjected to threats and hatred?”

“It’s important that you as a victim file a police report. Partly so that it can be determined whether the case should go further in the legal process. It’s easy to file a report. You call 114 14 or visit a police station.

In an emergency, call 112.”

“I’m not sure if what I’ve been subjected to is a crime, should I file a police report anyway?”

“It’s important to file a police report. You do not need to be sure whether it’s a crime or not, you can leave it to justice authorities to make the legal judgement on.”

“Why should I report to the police?”

“The police report fulfils several functions. What’s important is a possibility of redress. It also serves a statistical function so that certain types of crimes can be monitored over time. They might increase, decrease or be constant. A certain type of crime can receive a different focus if the statistics change. The third thing is that it is an important signal to society about behaviours that are not acceptable.”

“How much time does it take to make a police report and is it complicated?”

“It’s not complicated to file a police report and should not take much time either. You need to be clear about what you were subjected to so that we can get basic information for assessments for continued handling.”

“When should I file a police report?”

“File a police report as close to the crime as possible. Time is important. We will handle your case regardless, but the earlier, the better.”

“I’ve been subjected to threats and hatred online, can I file a police report anyway?”

“It’s important to file a police report, regardless of whether it’s online or in real life. You can be subjected to the same crime online as offline and the same rules also apply online as in reality.”

“I believe I have been victimised because of my profession or commitment, is that of significance?”

“If you believe that you’ve been victimised in your professional role, you should say so. This kind of crime targets precisely that. Crimes against democracy is when someone affects you in a negative way when it comes to for instance decisions you make, articles that you write or other issues you inform about. It’s important for the police to identify the crimes. It’s important to say if you’re a politician, a journalist or an artist so that we can guide your report to the right resources. There are specialist groups in the Swedish police who work full-time with such crimes.”

“Should I tell the police if I’ve been subjected to similar crimes before?”

“If you were subjected to this before, you should say so. If you have an earlier case, we look at the history of your particular victimisation so that we can make better comprehensive judgments about what you’ve been subjected to.”

“I’m afraid of being victimised again, can I get protection?”

“The police can offer protection. We have special units that make special risk and security assessments. They then look at the whole picture in each individual case.”

You do not need to know what is criminal

It may be difficult to know if threats and hatred are criminal or not. Nor do you need to know it to file a police report. It is the police and other parts of the judicial system that have the task of finding out if it is criminal or not. If you have filed a police report without anyone being convicted of the crime, it is nonetheless important to file a new police report if it happens again.

Why is it important for you to file a police report?

There are several reasons to file a police report. For many people, it may be very important that the perpetrator has to take responsibility for his or her actions and cannot subject more people to crime. A police report is also a prerequisite for the police to be able to investigate if you have a need for protection. A police report is also needed in order for you to receive damages from the perpetrator, insurance compensation or criminal injury compensation from the state. 

Police reports fill an important statistical function and serve as an indication whether a certain kind of crime is increasing or decreasing.

You do not need to have filed a police report to be able to receive support from an organisation. They can also tell you how the legal process works if you are unsure whether you want to report the crime or not. The national organisations that are under the page Get in touch can help you get in touch with a local organisation near you.

Get in touch.

Filing a police report in three steps

  1. Call 114 14 or visit a police station, preferably as soon as possible after what happened. In case of emergency, call 112.
  2. Say what has happened without diminishing your own victimisation. Say what you work with or are engaged in if you think that the victimisation is related to this. Also tell if you feel unsafe and if you have been victimised before. State if you have any saved information that can be used as evidence, such as a screen dump or a text message.
  3. Save the police’s case number if you want to supplement the report later or if you are victimised again.

Tell what you work with or are engaged in

Tell the police if you suspect that you have been subjected to a crime because you have participated in social debate. The police have special investigators who are trained to investigate crimes against democracy.

If you feel unsafe

Tell the police if you are afraid or feel unsafe. Also tell if you have been victimised before or if you believe that you may be victimised again. The police have a special crime victim and personal security unit that evaluates and decides on protection. What such protection looks like depends on what the threats against you look like.

Read more about various kinds of protection.

Get in touch

You can contact these authorities if you have questions about filing a police report or about compensation after a crime.

114 14 – Swedish Police

The Police’s non-emergency contact number is 114 14. You can call this number if you want to talk to the police, ask a question or report a crime. You can also report a crime by visiting a police station in person. You can find your nearest police station on the police authority website.

Swedish Crime Victim Authority

The overall aim of the Swedish Crime Victim Authority is to look after the rights of all crime victims and to draw public attention to their needs and interests. The authority is located in Umeå, and is nationally responsible for three areas of activities: dealing with matters concerning criminal injuries compensation; administering the Crime Victims Fund; and serving as a Centre of Competence.