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Persons suspected of offences

Close to 106,000 individuals were registered as suspects in connection with criminal offences over the course of 2015. This is about the same level as 2014.

Persons suspected of offences

Number of persons suspected of offences 2006-2015.


Both increases and decreases can be found when looking at specific crime categories. The number of persons suspected of crimes against person, theft, robbery or other offences of stealing increased by 3 percent. The number of persons suspected of fraud or other acts of dishonesty decreased by 3 percent.  

Between the mid-1970s and the early 1990s the number of registered suspects rose from 81,200 to peak at 111,000 in 1993. Until the end of the 1990s the number of registered suspects declined, but increased again, with a new peak in 2010 at 126,000 registered suspects. Since 2010 the number of registered suspects has decreased, until 2015 when the level flattened a bit. Since there has also been an increase in the size of the population that has reached the age of criminal responsibility (15 years), the increase in the number of registered suspects becomes smaller when it is viewed in relation to this population trend.

In 2015, the number of suspects increased in the age groups 15−17 years by 4 percent and 21−29 years by 1 percent. The number of suspects in the age group 18−20 years decreased by 4 percent. The number of suspects with an age of 30 years or older is unchanged compared with 2014. The lowest age at which an individual can be registered as a crime suspect is the age of criminal responsibility, which in Sweden is 15 years.

As a proportion of all those registered as suspects in connection with criminal offences in 2015, persons between 15 and 20 years account for 20 percent of the total whilst at the same time accounting for 8 percent of the population. Among older age groups, persons aged 50 or over accounted for 17 percent of registered suspects in 2015 and 46 percent of the population. Thus the number of registered suspects in relation to population size is greater among younger age groups than it is among older segments of the population. Among registered youth suspects aged between 15 and 20, drug and theft offences constitute the most common offence types, whereas drug and fraud offences are the most common types of offence among those aged over 20.

The majority of those suspected of offences are men. In 2015, men accounted for 80 percent of all those registered as suspects in connection with crime. The proportion of women among all those suspected of offences increased successively from 13 to 19 percent over the period between 1980 and 1996. Subsequent to this point, the proportion of registered suspects comprised of women has remained relatively stable at a level of around 18 to 21 percent. In 2015, approximately 20,800 women were registered as suspects, which is 2 percent more than 2014.

The 106,000 individuals registered as crime suspects in 2015 were together suspected in connection with a total of 345,000 offences (referred to in the statistics as “offence participations”). Drug offences accounted for 19 percent of the offences that were linked to a registered suspect in 2015. This can be compared to the fact that drug offences make up just 6 percent of reported crime. This difference is due to drug offences being a crime category where a suspect is relatively often identified. Drug offences, together with offences against the person, traffic offences, theft offences and fraud offences, constitute one of the most common types of crime among the offences that have been linked to a registered suspect. The five crime categories mentioned each account for 14–19 percent of all the crimes linked to registered suspects.

Number of persons suspected of offences per 100,000 of the population in the age groups, 2013.

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