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Robbery

The number of reported robberies has declined somewhat in recent years. During 2014, 8,360 robberies were reported, of which most were muggings. According to the Swedish Crime Survey, 0.7 per cent of the population were exposed to mugging during 2014.

Percentage exposed to mugging

Percentage of individuals in the population (16–79 years of age) exposed to mugging, 2005 – 2014. Source: NTU 2015.

Mugging


Mugging is the most reported type of robbery and represents more than 70 per cent of all robberies. According to responses in the Swedish Crime Survey (Nationella trygghetsundersökningen – NTU), 0.7 per cent of the population (16 – 79 years of age), corresponding to 52,000 persons, have been exposed to mugging. The percentage of victims was the same as in 2013.

Mugging shows a relatively stable trend during the measurement period, however a slightly downward trend can be discerned during the most recent three years. Mugging is the type of crime to which the lowest percentage state that they have been exposed. The relationship between the number of exposed persons and the number of incidents is governed by how common repeated exposure is. Repeated exposure to mugging is relatively uncommon. Most (88%) of those who stated that they were exposed to mugging in 2014 were exposed to such an offence once during the year.

Gender and age

Men are victims of mugging more often than women. In total, 0.9 per cent of men were exposed during 2014, while the corresponding percentage among women was 0.5 per cent. The difference between men and women was relatively unchanged between 2005 and 2011, but as a result of the decline in respect of exposure among men, the differences have dropped off in the most recent three years.

Age

Exposed to mugging, 2014. Percentage for each age group. Source: NTU


Mugging is often regarded as an offence which primarily young people are exposed to and commit, and the results in the NTU confirm that perception. Since 2005, persons in the younger age groups have reported the greatest exposure to mugging. In 2014, exposure was approximately equally great in the 16 – 19 age group and in the 20 – 24 age group (1.8% and 1.7%, respectively). The victims in almost two-thirds (58%) of the cases state that they know or believe that the perpetrator was 24 years of age or younger. Among men, men 16 – 24 years of age are most exposed (2.3%). The youngest age group is also the most exposed among women (1.1%).

Victimisation of different groups in respect of mugging

The result shows the differences in exposure to mugging in respect of both educational level and family and domestic arrangements. There is very little difference in respect of exposure to mugging among persons born in Sweden with at least one parent born in Sweden, among persons born in Sweden with two parents born abroad, and among persons born abroad (0.7% – 0.9%).

Just as in previous years, persons with not more than a compulsory level of education (1.0%) are exposed to a greater extent than persons with not more than upper secondary education (0.8%) and persons with post-upper secondary education (0.4%). Exposure is also greater among residents of multiple dwelling blocks (1.0%) than among residents of detached or semi-detached dwellings (0.5%). Residents of major metropolitan regions state higher levels of exposure (0.9%) than residents of other large cities or smaller towns and rural areas (0.6% and 0.5%, respectively). According to the most recent measurements, exposure to mugging is greater among single persons, both with children (1.2%) and without children (1.3%) than among persons living as a couple, both with children (0.2%) and without children (0.5%).

When one corrects for the effect of background factors such as gender and age, the difference in exposure to mugging remains insofar as those with post-upper secondary education are less exposed than those with only a compulsory level of education.

Circumstances surrounding mugging

The level of severity of mugging may be assessed based on different aspects, for example whether there was violence used in conjunction with the robbery. In 22 per cent of the cases during 2004, the victim states that they were hit, kicked, or subjected to other physical violence in connection with the robbery. Another metric for the degree of severity is whether knives, firearms, or any other implements were used in the robbery. In slightly more than one-fourth (27%) of the cases, the victim states that weapons or other implements were used in the robbery. However, this relates to relatively few incidents, and thus the percentage may vary significantly from year to year.

In respect of the crime scene, most muggings are stated to have taken place in public places (81%). In respect of the relationship to the perpetrator, most muggings have been committed by a completely unknown person (94%).

Reported robberies

Total number of reported robberies (including aggravated robbery) of which muggings (including those of disabled persons) and shop robberies, 2006 – 2015.Source: Reported offences

Reported robberies

The number of reported robberies in 2015 increased somewhat as compared with the preceding year. In total, 8,460 robberies were reported. However, the number of robberies of private individuals (muggings), which is the most common type of robbery, declined by 1 per cent.

The number of other reported robberies is significantly less, but often more aggravated, since it is relatively more common for the perpetrators to use firearms. The other categories include, among others, shop robberies, which increased by 5 per cent during 2015 as compared with the preceding year, to 817 reported offences. In 2015, 23 bank robberies were reported, unchanged as compared with 2014. The reported bank robberies represent a numerically less significant type of offence, and the number varies significantly over the years. The number of robberies of armoured vehicles, which declined by 19 offences to 11 offences during 2015, has shown relatively large fluctuations during the 2000s and 2010s. Taxi robberies declined by 12 reported offences during the year, to 31 reported offences.

Cleared robberies

Person-based clearance rate² for robbery total robberies (including aggravated robbery) as well as muggings (not of disabled persons) and shop robberies, 2006 – 2015. Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

In 2015, 8,370 robberies were processed.¹ Investigations were commenced for 81 per cent (6,820) of the processed offences, while 19 per cent (1,550 offences) were dismissed with no investigation. Investigations were limited for a small number of robberies (16 offences), all of which took place after an investigation was commenced. There was at least one reasonably suspected person registered for the offence for 24 per cent (2,010) of the processed robberies, which corresponds to less than one-third of the number of investigated offences. There were person-based clearances for 47 per cent of the robberies (-3 % as compared with 2014).

The person-based clearance rate² for robbery was 11 per cent during the year, which is a decline of 1 percentage point as compared with 2014. Compared with ten years ago, the level has declined by 1 percentage point.


Persons suspected of robbery

Number of persons suspected of robbery (including aggravated robbery) as well as muggings (including those of disabled persons) and shop robberies, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

In 2015, 1,360 persons were registered as suspected of robbery, which is a reduction by 97 persons (-7%) as compared with the preceding year. The majority were suspected of mugging. During the most recent ten years, the number of suspected persons has, however, decreased by 14 per cent.

Persons found guilty of robbery offences

Number of conviction decisions³ of robbery (including aggravated) as the primary offence, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons found guilty of offences

Convictions

There were 648 conviction decisions³ in 2015 in respect of robbery (including aggravated robbery), which is a decrease of 181 decisions, or 22 per cent, as compared with 2014. As compared with 2006, convictions in respect of robbery have declined by 239 decisions, or 27 per cent. The trend in conviction decisions of robbery has, however, varied during the ten-year period.

The greatest number of conviction decisions (1,050 decisions) of robbery during the ten-year period were issued in 2009.

Almost all perpetrators of a robbery classified as aggravated are sentenced to imprisonment, and young people are sentenced to secure youth care. The average sentence of imprisonment for aggravated robbery was four years and seven months in 2007. Even when the offence classification is of the normal level, i.e. robbery, imprisonment (or for young people, secure youth care) is the most common sanction. The average sentence for robbery in 2007 was one year and seven months.

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.

³) The statistic regarding persons found guilty of offences reports the number of convictions which were issued during the year. "Conviction decision" means a conviction in a district court or decision of a public prosecutor, such as a summary sanction order or waiver of prosecution, during one calendar year. A single individual may be found guilty of an offence in different ways and on several occasions during one year. A conviction decision may contain decisions regarding several offences and several sanctions.

Facts

  • 8,460 robberies were reported to the police (2015)
  • 23 bank robberies were reported (2015)
  • 69 per cent of all reported robberies are muggings (2015)
  • 11 per cent of robberies had person-based clearances (2015)
  • 5 per cent of the inmates in prisons have been found guilty of robbery or aggravated robbery (2010)
  • Fewer than 1 per cent of all reported robberies are robberies of banks or armoured vehicles (2015)
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