The Swedish Crime Survey

The Swedish Crime Survey (SCS or Nationella trygghets­undersökningen – NTU – in Swedish) is an annual survey of the attitudes and experiences of the general population of Sweden (aged 16-84 years) regarding victimisation, fear of crime, confidence in the criminal justice system, and crime victims' contacts with the criminal justice system.

The Swedish Crime Survey has been conducted since 2006. The survey includes a sample of 200,000 people. In the SCS 2021, approximately 74,000 people from the sample participated.

Method revised in 2017

The method used for the SCS was revised in 2017. At this point, the collection procedure changed from mainly telephone interviews to internet questionnaires or postal questionnaires. The selection was also expanded and some of the questions were reformulated and new questions were added. Since one main purpose of the SCS is to be able to make comparisons over time, a method has been developed to enable the results for the period 2007–2016 to be compared with 2017–2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that all the descriptions of development over time for the results described in the report are unaffected by the change in method. It is important to emphasise this, as the purpose of the study is to study development over time and compare different groups in the population rather than to estimate exact levels. Read more about this in the 2018 SCS.

New offences have been introduced

The questions about pickpocketing, sales fraud, card/credit fraud and online harassment were introduced in the 2017 SCS, which means that results regarding victims of these types of offences are only available for the period 2016–2020.

The pandemic may have affected the results

When making comparisons over time, it should be noted that half of the data
collection for NTU 2020 and the entire data collection for NTU 2021 were
conducted during the covid-19 pandemic. It should therefore be borne in
mind that the results are likely to have been affected by the changed lifestyle
patterns that the pandemic has brought about. There is therefore a great risk
that differences compared with previous years are of a more temporary
nature, as a result of a temporary societal change, and not necessarily a sign
of a break in a trend.

Victimisation

Victimisation was investigated for the calendar year preceding the year on which the question was asked. This means that incidents where the respondent was a victim reported in the 2021 SCS reflect offences that took place in 2020. Victimisation in terms of offences against an individual is reported as the percentage of victims, unlike victimisation in terms of property offences against households, which is reported as the percentage of victimised households.

Offences against an individual

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["2006","2007","2008","2009","2010","2011","2012","2013","2014","2015","2016","2017","2018","2019","2020"],datasets : [{"label": "Threat","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["6.4","5.7","5.7","6.0","5.8","5.8","5.9","6.2","5.7","6.9","7.9","8.3","9.1","9.2","8.4"],"borderColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1)"},{"label": "Assualt","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["3.0","3.4","2.8","2.8","2.8","3.0","2.3","2.7","2.4","2.3","3.1","3.3","3.5","3.6","2.8"],"borderColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)"},{"label": "Sexual offences","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["1.5","1.5","1.6","1.8","1.5","1.4","1.7","2.6","2.0","3.4","4.7","6.4","6.0","5.6","4.6"],"borderColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)"},{"label": "Robbery","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["0.8","0.6","0.8","0.6","0.8","0.9","0.6","0.6","0.6","0.7","1.1","1.3","1.4","1.5","1.3"],"borderColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)"}]}

Self-reported victimisation of various types of offences against an individual. Percentage of the population (aged 16–84), 2006–2020¹. Source: SCS 2021

Offences against an individual

In the 2021 SCS, 20.2 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were a victim of one or more of the types of offences referred to in the report as offences against an individual: assault, threats, sexual offences, robbery, pickpocketing, sales fraud, card/credit fraud and online harassment¹ in 2020. This is a decrease compared with the preceding year (in 2019 the proportion was 22.6%).

The type of offence that had the highest proportion of victims according to the 2021 SCS was threats (8.4%) while robbery was the least common (1.3%).

The proportion of self-reported victimisation has decreased for almost all types of offences against an individual compared to 2019. The exception is sales fraud which has increased since 2019, and online harassment which proportion is virtually unchanged compared to 2019.

Most people who state that they have been a victim of offences against an individual state that they were a victim once in 2020 (48.7%), while 22.3 percent of these (corresponding to 4.5% of the population aged 16–84) state that they were victims four times or more. Individuals in this group make up almost three-quarters (71.8%) of all incidents of offences against an individual.

¹ Victims of harassment were included in the category “offences against an individual” until SCS 2020. Since then, harassment has been presented as a separate category.

Self-reported victimisation 2020

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["Assault","Threats","Sexual offences","Robbery","Pickpocketing","Sales fraud","Card-/credit fraud","Harassment","Online harassment"],datasets : [{"label": "Total","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["2.8","8.4","4.6","1.3","1.7","5.5","4.1","6.0","2.5"],"borderColor": "rgba(4,90,141)","backgroundColor": "rgba(4,90,141)"},{"label": "Men","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["3.5","8.8","1.2","2.1","1.8","6.4","4.6","5.0","2.6"],"borderColor": "rgba(116,169,207)","backgroundColor": "rgba(116,169,207)"},{"label": "Women","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["2.2","8.1","7.7","0.5","1.6","4.6","3.6","6.9","2.4"],"borderColor": "rgba(208,209,230)","backgroundColor": "rgba(208,209,230)"}]}

 Self-reported victimisation due to sales fraud. Percentage for men and women. Source: SCS 2021

Assault

The percentage of individuals who state that they were a victim of assault in 2020 is 2.8 percent of the population (aged 16–84). The level is lower than of 2019, when 3.6 percent were a victim of assault. The trend for the period 2006–2015 was one of a weak decline, albeit with some yearly variations, but the following period show a slightlyincreasing trend until this decrease in 2020. Men (3.5%) state that they were victims of assault more often than women (2.2%) in 2020. In terms of age, self-reported victimisation regarding assault was most common in the 16–19 age bracket (10.4% among men and 6.5% among women).

Serious assault

A proportion of 0.5 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were a victim of serious assault, which in the SCS refers to assaults leading to injuries requiring medical treatment by a doctor, nurse or dentist. This is a decrease compared to the period 2016-2019 when the self-reported victimisation was 0.7 percent. Men (0.7%) state that they were victims more often than women (0.3%) in 2020. In terms of age, self-reported victimisation among men due to serious assault was most common in the 16–19 age bracket (1.5%) and in women, self-reported victimisation due to serious assault was most
common in the 20–24 age bracket (0.8%).

Threats

In 2020 8.4 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were a victim of threats, which is a lower level compared to 2019 (9.2%). Self-reported victimisation due to threat offences remained at a relatively stable level during the period 2006–2014, thereafter the level increased each year until this decrease in 2020. Men (8.8%) state that they were victims of threats more often than women (8.1%) in 2020. Self-reported victimisation due to threats was most common among young people in the 16–19 age bracket (among men 13.9% and among women 13.2%).

Sexual offences

  • Include, for example, offensive, sexual comments in speech or writing, forced sexual acts or rape. Incidents could have happened at home, at school, at work, on the internet or in another location.

In 2020, 4.6 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were a victim of a sexual offence, compared with 5.6 percent in 2019. The proportion remained relatively unchanged during the period 2006-2011 but then increased almost every year until 2017. A declining trend has been noted since 2018. Women (7.7%) state that they were victims of a sexual offence significantly more often than men (1.2%) in 2020. There are large differences between age groups. The proportion for both men and women is greatest in the age group 20–24, where 26.9 percent of women state they were a victim of a sexual offence, and 2.5 percent of men.

Serious sexual offences involving the use of force

  • Refers to incidents which include someone forcing, or trying to force, the person into a sexual act by threatening, holding onto or hurting the person in some way.

Of the population (aged 16–84), 0.8 percent state that they were a victim of a sexual offence involving the use of force in 2020, which is a decrease since 2019 (1.0%). Women (1.3%) state that they were victims significantly more often than men (0.3%) in 2020. There are large differences between age groups. The proportion for both men and women is largest among young people in the 16–24 age bracket, where among women 4.9 percent state they were a victim of sexual offence involving the use of force, and among men the proportion was 0.6 percent.

Serious sexual offences involving the exploitation of a defenceless condition

  • Refers to incidents which include sexual abuse while the person was asleep or when the person was in a defenceless state due to intoxication.

Of the population (aged 16–84), 0.6 percent state that they were a victim of a sexual offence involving the exploitation of a defenceless condition in 2020, which is at the same level as 2019. Women (1.0%) state that they were victims in 2020 significantly more often than men (0.2%). There are large differences between age groups. The proportion for both men and women is largest among young people in the 16–24 age bracket, where among women 5.0 percent state they were a victim of a sexual offence involving the exploitation of a defenceless condition, and among men the proportion was 0.4 percent.

Robbery

In 2020, 1.3 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state they were a victim of robbery or a victim of attempted robbery, which is a slightly lower level compared to 2019 when the proportion was 1.5 percent. The proportion was at a relatively stable level until 2015, but an increase was noted in 2016 and the proportion has since remained at the higher level, with a slightly increasing trend, until this recent decrease in 2020. Men (2.1%) state that they were victims of robbery or attempted robbery during 2020 more often than women (0.5%). In terms of age, self-reported victimisation among men due to robbery was most common in the 16–19 age bracket (5.8%) and among women, self-reported victimisation due to robbery was most common in the 20–24 and 25–34 age bracket (0.9%).

Pickpocketing

In 2020, 1.7 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were victims of pickpocketing. Women (1.6%) state that they were victims of pickpocketing less often than men (1.8%) in 2020. Among both men and women, self-reported victimisation due to pickpocketing was most common in the 16–19 age bracket, where 3.8 percent of the men and 4.6 percent of the women state that they had been a victim of pickpocketing.

Sales fraud

Of the population (aged 16–84), 5.5 percent state that they were victims of sales fraud in 2020. The proportion is larger compared to 2019 (5.1 %), and an increasing trend can be seen since 2016 when the percentage of self-reported victimisation was 4.5 percent. Men (6.4%) state that they were victims of sales fraud in 2020 more often than women (4.6%). The greatest percentage of self-reported victimisation due to sales fraud was found in the 35–44 age bracket among men (9.0%) and in the 45–54 age bracket among women (6.1%).

Card-/credit fraud

Self-reported victimisation due to card/credit fraud amounted to 4.1 percent of the population (aged 16–84) in 2020. This is a lower level compared to 2019, when the percentage was 5.3 percent. Men (4.6%) state that they were victims of card/credit fraud more often than women (3.6%) in 2020. Among both men and women self-reported victimisation due to card/credit fraud was most common in the 45–54 age bracket, where 6.6 percent of the men and 4.9 percent of the women state that they had been a victim of card/credit fraud.

Online harassment

Self-reported victimisation due to online harassment amounted to 2.5 percent of the population (aged 16–84) in 2020. This is at approximately the same level as in 2019, when the proportion was 2.6 percent. Men (2.6%) state that they were victims of online harassment more often than women (2.4%) in 2020. The greatest percentage of victims was in the 16–19 age bracket, although among the young people in that age group the percentage of victims was larger among women (8.2%) than among men (4.9%).

Harassment

In connection with the follow-up interviews, it emerged that some people had misunderstood the screening question about harassment. They may have understood it as including telephone sales, for example. The wording of the question and how the results are reported were reviewed before the 2020 SCS and therefore only the results for 2019–2020 are presented.

Of the population (aged 16–84), 6.0 percent state that they were victims of harassment in 2020, which is a lower level compared to 2019 (6.5%). Women (6.9%) state that they were victims of harassment in 2020 more often than men (5.0%). Among men, self-reported victimisation due to harassment was most common in the 16–19 age bracket (7.6%), and among women selfreported victimisation due to harassment was most common in the 20–24 age bracket (13.8%).

Property offences against households

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["2006","2007","2008","2009","2010","2011","2012","2013","2014","2015","2016","2017","2018","2019","2020"],datasets : [{"label": "Burglary","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["1.6","1.3","1.4","1.6","1.4","1.7","1.3","1.7","1.2","1.6","1.8","1.8","1.8","1.7","1.3"],"borderColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1","backgroundColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1"},{"label": "Car theft","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["1.8","1.6","1.5","1.1","1.2","0.8","0.7","0.8","0.4","1.1","1.0","0.9","1.0","1.0","0.8"],"borderColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)"},{"label": "Theft out of or from a vehicle","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["8.6","7.1","6.4","6.1","4.9","5.3","4.5","4.7","4.5","4.1","4.8","4.5","4.7","4.6","4.1"],"borderColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)"},{"label": "Bicycle theft","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["10.7","11.1","10.8","10.7","10.0","10.3","9.2","9.6","9.5","9.9","10.7","10.3","11.1","11.4","10.5"],"borderColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)"}]}

Self-reported victimisation of various types of property offences. Percentage of victimised households nationwide, 2006–2020¹. Source: SCS 2021

Property offences against households

The 2021 SCS shows that 13.2 percent of households were victims of car theft, theft out of or from a vehicle, bicycle theft, or burglary (all referred to as property offences against households) in 2020.

The most common property offence reported for 2020 is bicycle theft (10.5%), while vehicle theft is the least common (0.8%). The reported victimisation has decreased compared to 2019 in terms of all of the types of property offences against households measured in the SCS. The property offences that have seen the most significant development since 2006 are car-related crimes, which have decreased significantly

A majority of those who were victims of property offences against households state that they were victims once in 2020, while a smaller percentage of the victimised households (5.8%) state that they were victims four times or more. This group suffered 27,9 percent of all property offences.

Burglary

According to the SCS 2021, 1.3 percent of households were victims of burglary during 2020, which is a decrease since 2019 (1.7%). For most of the measurement period the proportion of reported victimised households has varied around a relatively stable level, but in 2016 the level increased somewhat, and the proportion has remained at the slightly higher level until this latest decrease in 2020.

Car theft

In 2020, 0.8 percent of households report that they were victims of car t eft, which means that the proportion is at a lower level compared to 2019 (1.0%). The proportion declined significantly during the period 2006–2014, but then increased in 2015. The percentage has since remained relatively stable at that level, which despite the increase, is nevertheless considerably lower than when measurements started. 

Theft out of or from a vehicle

The percentage of households stating that they were victims of theft out of or from a vehicle was 4.1 percent in 2020. This is a decrease since 2019, when the proportion was 4.6 percent. During the period 2006–2010, the percentage of households that were victims of theft out of or from a vehicle decreased dramatically and has remained at a relatively stable level since then, until this decrease in 2020.

Bicycle theft

The proportion of households stating that they were victims of bicycle theft was 10.5 percent in 2020. This is a decrease since 2019, when the proportion was 11.4 percent. The proportion of victimised households decreased the during the period 2008–2012. Since then a slightly increasing trend has been noted until this recent decrease in 2020

Fear of crime

Measuring fear of crime is complicated, but the SCS can contribute by providing a number of key indicators on the subject. The reference periods reflected in the section on fear of crime vary depending on the type of question. Questions about concern regarding various types of offences refer to the most recent twelve months (prior to the time of interview). The more comprehensive questions refer to the perception respondents had at the time the question was asked (2021). Regarding concerns about being a victim of crime, the questions about burglary and theft or vandalism of vehicles are the only ones that have been included in their present form every year since the survey was initiated, while the questions on concern about the remaining offences were added in conjunction with the revision of the survey in 2017.

Feeling unsafe outdoors late at night

The results in the 2021 SCS show that a total of 28 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they feel very unsafe or quite unsafe when outdoors alone at night or that they avoid going out alone at night due to feeling unsafe. Of these, 6 percent state that they do not go out due to feeling unsafe. The level decreased during the first period of the survey and then remained at a stable level. However, a significant increase occurred in 2016 and the proportion has since then remained at that higher level. It is significantly more common for women (36%) to state that they feel unsafe than for men (19%). The greatest percentage was found in the 75–84 age bracket among men (23%) and in the 20–24 age bracket among women (50%).

Feeling unsafe in own neighbourhood late at night

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["2007","2008","2009","2010","2011","2012","2013","2014","2015","2016","2017","2018","2019","2020","2021"],datasets : [{"label": "Total","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["25","25","23","22","23","22","21","22","22","28","28","28","28","30","28"],"borderColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1","backgroundColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1"},{"label": "Men","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["15","14","14","13","14","14","13","13","14","18","19","19","19","22","19"],"borderColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)"},{"label": "Women","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["34","33","32","29","31","30","28","29","30","37","36","36","36","38","36"],"borderColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)"}]}

Feeling unsafe (very unsafe/quite unsafe) in own neighbourhood when going out late at night, as well as those who refrain from going out due to feeling unsafe. Percentage of the population (aged 16–84) and for each gender, 2007–2020¹. Source: SCS 2021

Perception of crime development

A total of 80 percent of the population (aged 16–84) believes that the number of crimes in Sweden has increased over the past three years, which is approximately at the same level as 2020 when the proportion was 81 percent. Over time, the proportion has remained stable, but it is at slightly lower levels in recent years compared to the first years of measurement. A greater proportion of women (81%) than men (78%) state that they believe that the number of crimes in Sweden has increased over the past three years. The proportion is greatest in the youngest age bracket (aged 16–19) among men (85%) and in the older age brackets, particularly the oldest (aged 75–84) among women (90%).

Concern about crime in society

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["2007","2008","2009","2010","2011","2012","2013","2014","2015","2016","2017","2018","2019","2020","2021"],datasets : [{"label": "Total","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["37","43","35","32","27","31","28","28","32","37","43","42","43","47","45"],"borderColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1","backgroundColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1"},{"label": "Men","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["32","37","31","28","24","29","26","27","31","36","43","41","43","47","46"],"borderColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)"},{"label": "Women","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["41","47","39","35","30","32","30","30","34","37","43","42","43","47","44"],"borderColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)"}]}

Concern about crime in society (in large extent). Percentage of the population (aged 16–84) and for each gender, 2007–2021¹. Source: SCS 2021

Concern about crime in society

In 2021 SCS 45 percent of the population (aged 16–84) have great concern about crime in society, which is a decrease compared to 2020 (47%). Leading up to 2011, the percentage who experienced great concern decreased, followed by an increase up to 2017. The proportion then remained stable for a few years until an increase in 2020. The percentage of people who have great concern about crime is larger among men (46%) than women (44%). Among men, the percentage is greatest among people aged 55–64 (54%) and in the 65–74 age bracket among women (57%).

Concern about close friends and family

In 2021 SCS 35 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they, very often or quite often feel concerned that someone close to them will be subjected to crime; this is a decrease compared to the preceding year 2020 (38%). The proportion decreased until 2014, followed by an increase up to 2016, and since remained at the same level almost every year. It is more common for women (37%) to be concerned that friends or family will be subjected to crime than for men (32%). Concern that friends or family will be subjected to crime, is most common in the 45–54 age bracket among both men and women, where the proportion among men was 39 percent and among women the proportion was 45 percent.

Concern about being a victim of crime

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["Assualt","Rape/sexual assault","Robbery","Fraud on the Internet","Burglary","Theft/vandalism of vehicle"],datasets : [{"label": "Total","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["10","11","16","32","23","24"],"borderColor": "rgba(4,90,141)","backgroundColor": "rgba(4,90,141)"},{"label": "Men","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["10","2","14","30","22","25"],"borderColor": "rgba(116,169,207)","backgroundColor": "rgba(116,169,207)"},{"label": "Women","lineTension" : 0,"fill": true,"data": ["10","19","17","33","24","23"],"borderColor": "rgba(208,209,230)","backgroundColor": "rgba(208,209,230)"}]}

Concern (very often/quite often) over being a victim of crime 2020. Percentage of the population (aged 16–84) for each type of offence and for each gender. Source: SCS 2021

The following questions about concerns about assault, rape/sexual assault, robbery and fraud on the internet were added in conjunction with the 2017 SCS, which means that results are only available for these types of offences for 2017–2021.

Concern about assault

The percentage of people who state that they are concerned very often or quite often about being a victim of assault is 10 percent, which is a decrease compared to 2020 (12%). The proportion has remained the same with the exception for the temporary increase in 2020. The percentage of people who are concerned about being a victim of assault is the same for men and women (10%). The highest percentage is found among men aged 16–19 and 20–24 (12%), and among women aged 16–19 (17%).

Concern about rape/sexual assault

The percentage of people who, in 2021, are often concerned about being a victim of rape or another type of sexual assault is 11 percent of the population (aged 16–84), which is approximately at the same level as in 2020 (12%). The proportion has remained at a relatively stable level since 2017. It is significantly more common for women (19%) to be concerned about being a victim of rape or another type of sexual assault than men (2%). In terms of age groups, the proportion is highest among women in the 16–19 and 20–24 age group, where 45 percent report this concern. Among men the proportion is highest in the 16–19, 20–24 and 25–34 age bracket (3%).

Concern about robbery

In the population (aged 16–84), 16 percent state that they are concerned about being a victim of robbery in 2021, which is a decrease compared to 2020 (19%). It is more common for women (17%) to be concerned about robbery than men (14%). Among both men and women, the level of concern about being a victim of robbery is highest in the 20–24 age bracket where the proportion among men is 18 percent and among women the proportion is 21 percent.

Concern about fraud on the Internet

In 2021, 32 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they are concerned about being a victim of fraud on the internet, which is at the same level as 2020. The proportion of people who are concerned about being a victim of fraud on the internet is larger for women (33%) than men (30%). The largest proportion among men is found in the 55–64 age bracket (37%) and among women the proportion is largest in the 75–84 age bracket (41%).

Concern about burglary

In 2021, 23 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they are concerned about burglary, which is a decrease since 2020 (27%). The proportion remained relatively unchanged during the first years, followed by an increase in 2012 that lasted until 2017. Since then the proportion has remained stable until this recent decrease in 2021. It is more common for women (24%) to state that they are concerned about burglary than men (22%). The percentage concerned about burglary is greatest in the 45–54 and 55–64 age bracket among men (26%) and in the 55–64 age brackets among women (29%).

Concern about theft/vandalism of vehicle

Among the respondents in 2021 SCS who stated that someone in the household owns a car, 24 percent are concerned that the household's car will be stolen or vandalised, which is a decrease compared to 2020 (27%). Leading up to 2013, the percentage concerned about the household's car being stolen or vandalised decreased, followed by a gradual increase in 2015–2017. Since than the proportion has remained at a relatively stable level. The percentage concerned about theft or vandalism of vehicle is slightly higher among men (25%) than among women (23%). In terms of age, the proportion is greatest in the 55–64 age bracket (men, 30% and women, 28%).

Consequences of feeling unsafe

In 2021, 24 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they often have chosen another route or another mode of transport as a result of concern about being a victim of crime, while 13 percent have often refrained from an activity as a result of this concern. Furthermore, 19 percent state that they have often refrained from an activity on the internet as a result of concern about being a victim of threats or harassment, and of these respondents, 3 percent never engage in activities on the internet due to this concern. Lastly, 7 percent state that their quality of life is affected as a result of being concerned about being a victim of crime. A significantly larger proportion of women than men state that they often have chosen another route or another mode of transport (women, 32% and men, 16%), and refrained from an activity due to concern about being a victim of crime (women, 16% men, 9%). For the other questions, the differences are small.

Confidence in the criminal justice system

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

TEst {labels : ["2007","2008","2009","2010","2011","2012","2013","2014","2015","2016","2017","2018","2019","2020","2021"],datasets : [{"label": "Criminal justice system as a whole","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["44","46","48","49","49","48","48","47","51","48","44","47","48","49","52"],"borderColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1","backgroundColor": "rgba(0, 115, 126, 1"},{"label": "Police","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["46","46","47","48","50","47","47","47","50","47","42","49","52","54","58"],"borderColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(112,38,115,1)"},{"label": "Public prosecutors","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["34","39","40","40","40","39","39","39","41","40","35","36","39","40","43"],"borderColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(200, 212, 0, 1)"},{"label": "Courts","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["34","39","40","41","40","38","39","37","40","40","36","36","38","39","41"],"borderColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(65, 105, 225, 1)"},{"label": "Prison and probation service","lineTension" : 0,"fill": false,"data": ["24","28","31","32","32","30","32","32","33","34","30","32","33","34","34"],"borderColor": "rgba(180, 12, 225, 1)","backgroundColor": "rgba(180, 12, 225, 1)"}]}

High (very/quite) degree of confidence in the criminal justice system. Percentage of the population (aged 16–84), 2007–2021¹ Source: SCS 2020

Confidence in the criminal justice system

The criminal justice system comprises several different public agencies and the SCS asks questions about the criminal justice system as a whole, as well as more specific questions regarding four of its agencies – the police, the public prosecutors, the courts, and the prison and probation service. The section on confidence in the criminal justice system reflects the respondents’ perception at the time the questionnaire was answered.

The results shown on confidence in the criminal justice system are mainly for the percentage stating that they have high (very high or quite high) confidence. The other response alternatives are low (very, or quite low) confidence or no opinion. This means that respondents that do not have high confidence do not by definition need to have low confidence. They could have stated that they have no opinion. However, the fact that some respondents have no particular view on a given issue, or are unwilling to commit themselves, is in itself an important factor to consider when assessing levels of public confidence. For this reason, those who state that they have no opinion in relation to the questions on confidence in the justice system are included in the result.

Confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole

More than half (52%) of the population (aged 16–84) state that they have a high (very high or quite high) degree of confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole, which is an increase since 2020, when the proportion was 49 percent. The proportion for high degree of confidence was relatively stable from 2011 until 2017, when there was a clear decline. The proportion then increased again, and is in 2021 at the highest level measured in the SCS. It is more common for women (55%) to state that they have a high degree of confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole than for men (48%). In terms of age, the proportion is greatest in the 45–54 age bracket (men, 52% and women, 61%).

Confidence in the police

The proportion of the population (aged 16–84) who state that they have a high degree of confidence in the way the police perform their work is 58 percent, which is the highest level measured in the SCS and an increase compared to 2020, when the proportion was 54 percent. The level was stable (with annual variations) until 2016, but 2017 saw a decrease in the proportion stating that they have a high degree of confidence. In 2018, however, there was an increase and that increase has continued in 2021. An increase of a total of 16 percentage points occurred between 2017 and 2020. It is more common for women (62%) to have a high degree of confidence in the police than for men (53%). In terms of age, the proportion is greatest among men in the 20–24 and 75-84 age brackets (55%) and among women in the age group 45–54 (66%).

Confidence in the public prosecutors

In the SCS 2021, 43 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they have a high degree of confidence in the way the public prosecutors perform their work. This is a higher level compared to 2020, when the proportion was 40 percent. The proportion increased until 2009 and then remained at a stable level, followed by a decrease in 2017. However, the result for 2021 shows that the proportion has increased again and is at the highest level measured in the SCS. It is more common for women (46%) to have a high degree of confidence in the public prosecutors than for men (40%). In terms of age, the proportion with a high degree of confidence in the public prosecutors is greatest in the age groups 16–19 and 45–54 among men (43%) and in the age groups 35–44 and 45–54 among women (51%). 

Confidence in the courts

A little more than two-fifths (41%) of the population (aged 16–84) state that they have a high degree of confidence in the way the courts perform their work, which is an increase compared to 2020, when the proportion was 39 percent. The proportion was relatively stable for most of the measurement period up to and including 2016. The proportion then declined in 2017, but has increased in 2021. It is somewhat more common for women (42%) to have a high degree of confidence in the courts than for men (39%). In terms of age, the proportion is greatest in the age group 45–54 among men (43%) and in the age groups 35–44 and 45–54 among women (48%).

Confidence in the prison and probation service

More than a third (34%) of the population (aged 16–84) have a high degree of confidence in the way in which the prison and probation service operates, which is at the same level as in 2020. The proportion with a high degree of confidence in the prison and probation service increased between 2007 and 2010 and has since remained relatively stable. It is more common for women (36%) to have a high degree of confidence in the prison and probation service than for men (32%). Among men, the proportion is greatest in the 16 19 age bracket (41%) and among women, the proportion is greatest in the 20–24 age bracket (47%).

Confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats suspects fairly

The results for 2021 show that 44 percent of the population (aged 16–84) have a high degree of confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats those suspected of crimes fairly, which is at about the same level as 2020 when the proportion was 43 percent. The proportion has remained at a relatively stable level for most of the measurement period, except for 2017 when the proportion decreased. A slight increasing trend has since been noted. It is almost as common for men and women to have a high degree of confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats those suspected of crimes fairly (men, 44% and women, 45%). In terms of age, the proportion among men is greatest in the 45–54 age bracket (51%) and in the age bracket 35–44 for women (52%).

Confidence that the police treats suspects fairly

More than half (51%) of the population (aged 16–84) have a high degree of confidence that the police treats those suspected of crimes fairly, which is at the same level as 2020. The proportion has generally been at a stable level, but there has been an increase since 2018. It is basically just as common for men (52%) and women (51%) to have a high degree of confidence that the police treat those suspected of crimes fairly. In terms of age, the proportion is greatest in the 45–54 age brackets among both men and women (men, 58% and women, 57%).

Confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats crime
victims well

In the 2021 SCS, 30 percent of the population (aged 16–84) have a high degree of confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats crime victims well, which is almost at the same level as 2020 when the proportion was 29 percent. The proportion with a high degree of confidence increased slightly at the beginning of the measurement period and has subsequently remained at a relatively stable level. It is more common for women (32%) to have a high degree of confidence that the criminal justice system as a whole treats crime victims well than for men (29%). Among men, the proportion is greatest in the 16–19 age bracket (40%) and among women, the proportion is greatest in the 35–44 age bracket (36%).

Confidence that the police treat crime victims well

The results for 2021 show that 47 percent of the population (aged 16–84) have a high degree of confidence that the police treat crime victims well, which is at a slightly higher level compared to 2020 when the proportion was 45 percent. The proportion has remained at a stable level for most of the measurement period, but an increasing trend can be seen since 2018. It is more common for women (48%) to have a high degree of confidence that the police treat crime victims well than for men (45%). In terms of age, the proportion is greatest in the 16–19 and 20–24 age brackets among men (53%) and in the 35–44 age bracket among women (54%).

Experiences of the police

Här kommer data att presenteras i tabell

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Experiences of the police among those who have been subjected to any crime
reported to the police in the last three years, according to the 2007-2021¹ SCS.
Percentage of people who have very/quite a positive experience of the police, and who
are very/quite satisfied with different parts of the police's work. Source: SCS 2021

Crime victims’ contacts with the justice system

When a person has been subjected to an offence that is reported to the police, the person gains experience of one or more of the agencies within the criminal justice system. The experience is customarily limited to the person’s contact with the police in connection with the police report, but may also comprise contact with public prosecutors, counsel for injured parties and, in the event the offence comes to trial, courts. The section on crime victims’ contact with the criminal justice system reports experiences in the most recent three years (at the date the question was answered).

Experience of the police in connection with reporting a crime to the police

The 2021 SCS shows that 23 percent of the population (aged 16–84) have been subjected to a crime that was reported to the police in the last three years. Of these, 44 percent stated that they had a positive experience of the police overall, which is at the same level as 2020. The proportion has remained at a stable level for most of the measurement period, but a slight decrease can be seen for the most recent years. When comparing crimes with and without elements of threats or violence, the proportion with positive experiences is in principle at the same level among those who experienced a crime with threats or violence.

With regard to various parts of the police's work, the victims are most satisfied with the way the police treated them (53%) and with police accessibility (50%), but less satisfied with the information they received regarding how the police were working with their case (34%) and with police effectiveness in investigating the crime (20%). When comparing crimes with and without elements of threats or violence, the proportion of satisfaction is greater when the incident has not entailed threats or violence, seen in terms of police accessibility and the information respondents received on how the police were working with their case.

Looking at the question of the police's effectiveness, the proportion is greater in cases where the offence has contained threats or violence, while for responses to the question of the way the police treated respondents, the proportion is almost equal. Women state that they have a positive experience of the police more often than men, in terms of both overall experience of the police and the various parts of the police's work. In terms of age, the proportion with positive experiences is greatest among the oldest age groups, for both men and women.

Experience with public prosecutors or courts

Approximately 2.0 percent of the population state that they have been in contact with public prosecutors as a result of having been a victim of crime at some time in the past three years, even if the investigation did not subsequently lead to a trial. Of these people, 43 percent state that their contact with public prosecutors was positive, which is at the same level as 2020.

Of the population aged 16–84, 1.1 percent state that they have participated in a trial as an injured party in the most recent three years. Of these, 58 percent state that they are satisfied with the way they were treated in court, which is at the same level as 2020. Furthermore, 63 percent state that they thought it was easy to understand the trial, which is a decrease from 2020 (69%). Lastly, 56 percent feel that they were given enough information before the trial, which in principle is the same level as 2020 (57%). Of those who participated in a trial as an injured party, 65 percent had what is termed a counsel for an injured party. Of these, 70 percent describe their experience of the counsel for an injured party as positive, which is a higher level compared to 2020 (68%).

Women have positive experiences to a greater extent than men when it comes to experience of prosecutors, courts and counsel for an injured party, understanding the trial and information before the trial.

Footnotes

¹).The results regarding victimisation 2006–2015 are recalculated since the SCS was then carried out with another method. For the corresponding results before the recalculation, see previous SCS publications.