Providing information about crime trends in Sweden is an important task for the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå). Many offences are never even detected, much less reported to the police.
Reported offences 1975-2013
There has been a continuous increase in reported offences since 1975. However, the average growth rate, i.e., the percentage change from year to year, has declined somewhat after the 1990s.
But the fact that the number of reported crimes has risen does not necessarily mean that the actual amount of crime has increased. Supplementary crime victim surveys such as the Swedish Crime Survey, however, give the same indication as the reported crime: that the actual amount of many different kinds of crime has increased.
Various factors have contributed to the increase in the number of reported crimes in the post-war period. The main reason is an improved standard of living that has increased the availability of goods that are attractive to thieves combined with a reduced social control between people. This has created increased opportunities for crime. But other things that might have affected the level of reported crime in the statistics are variations in people's tendency to report crime and changes in statistics procedures.
Various types of theft and burglary are the most common crimes to be reported. Nearly 40 percent of all reported crime can be included in this category. Amongst these so-called acquisitive crimes are car thefts and shoplifting.
Also very common are various sorts of vandalism, which amount to 12 percent of the number of reported crimes. Crime against individuals — particularly violent crime — accounts for 18 percent of the total number of reported crimes. Crimes against individuals include things such as assault and sex offences. Crimes against the Road Traffic Offences Act (trafikbrottslagen) have increased and now stand for just over 6 percent of the total number of reported crimes. Approximately 8 percent of the total number of reported crimes consists of fraud and about 6 percent are crimes against the Narcotic Drugs Act (narkotikastrafflagen).