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Residential burglary

Of households, 1 per cent stated that they were exposed to residential burglary in 2015. During 2015, approximately 22,800 residential burglaries were reported – this is a 2 per cent increase as compared with the preceding year.

Percentage exposed to residential burglary

Percentage of households exposed to residential burglary 2006 – 2015. Source: SCS.

In the Swedish Crime Survey (NTU - Nationella trygghetsundersökningen), 1 per cent of households state that they were exposed to residential burglary, which corresponds to 45,000 households in Sweden. This is an increase as compared with 2014, when 0.8 per cent of households were exposed. The percentage of households who have been exposed to residential burglary has remained relatively stable, at approximately 1 per cent, since the survey was commenced in 2006.

Victimisation of different groups in respect of residential burglary

Residents of detached or semi-detached dwellings are exposed to residential burglary to a greater extent (1.3%) than residents of multiple dwelling blocks (0.8%). The difference has been relatively stable during the entire survey period. It is not possible to discern any clear patterns in respect of exposure between different types of families. In respect of residential locality, residents of major metropolitan regions (1.2%) and other larger cities (also 1.2%) are exposed to a greater extent than residents of small towns and rural areas (0.7%).

Circumstances surrounding residential burglary

More residential burglaries take place on weekdays (63%) than on weekends and holidays (37%). It is more common for burglaries to take place during daytime (64%) than during night time (36%). For most of the reported residential burglaries (78%), most of the respondents state that something was stolen in connection with the burglary. In one out of four cases (25%), someone was home when the burglary was committed. The number varies over the years and no clear trend can be discerned.

Number of residential burglaries

Number of reported cases of residential burglaries in single-family residences, terraced houses, and suchlike, as well as flats, 2006 – 2015. Source: Reported offences

Reported offences

In 2015, 89,800 burglaries were reported, which is a 1 per cent increase as compared with 2014. Out of these, 22,800 related to residential burglaries – an increase of 2 per cent as compared to 2014. The number of reported burglaries in single-family homes and terraced houses was roughly at the same level as the previous year, 14,700 offences. Burglaries of flats increased by 4 per cent during 2015 to 8,040 burglaries during the year.

The number of reported residential burglaries has varied over the most recent ten years, but shows an upwards trend with an overall increase of 52 per cent as compared with 2006. Burglaries of flats increased continuously until 2011, when this trend was broken, only to rise agin in the last two years. They are now at a level which is 21 per cent higher than in 2006.

During the same period, the trend for burglaries of single-family homes was characterised by upward and downward fluctuations. The level of reported burglaries of single-family homes is now 76 per cent higher than it was ten years ago.

Reported burglaries in residences and holiday cottages during one year

Number of reported burglaries from residences for single-family homes, terraced houses, and suchlike, flats, and holiday cottages during 2015. Source: Reported offences

Over the past ten years, the reported burglaries of single-family homes have become increasingly seasonal. A more detailed analysis shows most burglaries of single-family homes take place in November, closely followed by October and December. This structure is not reflected in burglaries of flats, which show a relatively even level of number of reported offences over the year.

Cleared residential burglaries

Person-based clearance rate² for burglaries of single-family homes/terraced houses and suchlike, as well as flats, 2006 – 2015. Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

In 2015, 23,100 residential burglaries were processed.¹ Of these, investigation was commenced for 81 per cent (18,600 offences). Investigations were limited for only a few of the processed offences (96, or <0.5 per cent), and in all cases after investigation was commenced. The number of processed residential burglaries with at least one person registered as reasonably suspected of the offence amounted to only 8 per cent (1,7480 offences). Since this is a relatively small percentage, there were also few offences with person-based clearances (811 offences).

The person-based clearance rate² for residential burglaries amounted to 4 per cent in 2015, which is one percentage point less than 2014. It is also one percentage point less than the level ten years ago.

The conviction rate², i.e. the percentage of person-based clearances of the investigated offences in 2014, was somewhat higher at 5 per cent.

Persons suspected of residential burglary

Number of persons suspected of residential burglary of single-family homes, terraced houses, and suchlike, as well as residential burglary of flats, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

There were 1,050 persons suspected of residential burglary in 2015. This is a reduction of 16 suspected persons, or 2 per cent, as compared with 2014. During the most recent ten years, the number of persons suspected of residential burglary has increased by 8 per cent. The temporary reduction during 2007 is largely attributable to a system restructuring conducted by the public prosecutor that year.


Residential burglary is not a distinct legal designation but, instead, is included in the total classification of grand larceny. Accordingly, one cannot specifically isolate residential burglary in the statistics of persons convicted of offences. Of those found guilty of grand larceny, slightly less than one-half are sentenced to imprisonment.

¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.

²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.

  • The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences.

  • The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.
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