Law enforcement in Sweden

Law Enforcement in Sweden is carried out by several government entities, mainly run by the Government of Sweden.


The organization mainly tasked with law enforcement is the Swedish Police. In addition, under certain circumstances other government agencies can be tasked with law enforcement, including investigations, arrest/probatory powers, or enforcement of judgments. However, just like in the United States Swedish law has provisions similar to the U.S. Posse Comitatus Act which limits the use of the military to perform the tasks of law enforcement agencies in time of peace. This rule has recently come under review, in light of the upsurge of terrorist activity following the 9/11 attacks and the bombings in Bali, Madrid and London it has been suggested that the military should be allowed to aid the Police in certain situations of heightened tension.

Agencies under the Ministry of Justice

Swedish Police Service

:"See main article on the Swedish Police."

National Economic Crimes Bureau

The Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau, or " [ Ekobrottsmyndigheten] ", is a multidisciplinary law enforcement agency with the responsibility to both investigate and prosecute in cases of economic crimes. Similar multidisciplinary organizations are the Økokrim in Norway and the Scorpions in South Africa.

Swedish Prosecution Authority

The Swedish Prosecutions Authority, or " [ Åklagarmyndigheten] " is the principal agency in Sweden responsible for public prosecutions. It is headed by the Prosecutor General of Sweden.

Swedish prosecutors, belonging or not to the authority, is responsible for leading and supervising criminal investigations done by the Swedish Police, and preparing and presenting cases for court. The prosecutors holds also a number of quasi-judicial powers like, though not officially, acting as judges in several misdemeanor cases.

There is also a couple of Swedish prosecution agencies, independent of the SPA. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice and the Parliamentary Ombudsman(who is independent of the national government). The Ombudsman has powers to act as a special prosecutor and bring charges against public officials for malfeasance or some other irregularity. This happens very rarely.

Chancellor of Justice

The Chancellor, roughly the Attorney General of Sweden, acts, besides supervising lawyers and public officials, as a special prosecutor in several cases. The Chancellor does have, as being a prosecutor, investigative powers in cases regarding misconduct of lawyers and public officials, and violations of the Swedish laws dealing with press freedom.

Swedish Corrections Service

The Swedish Prison and Probation Service, or " [ Kriminalvården] " does have, besides duties as guarding prisons and keeping arrested suspects in jail, certain powers to track down escaped convicts.

National Board of Forensic Medicine

The Board, [ Rättsmedicinalverket] , is the main Swedish coroner agency.

Agencies under the Ministry of Finance

Swedish Customs Service

The [ Swedish Customs] performs duties related to law enforcement including border guard duties and the trace of illegal narcotics attempted to be smuggled into the country.

Swedish Enforcement Administration

The Swedish Enforcement Administration, or "Kronofogdemyndigheten" is the law enforcement service of the Swedish National Tax Board with duty to carry out judgments. It is also the main distraint authority in Sweden.

Agencies under the Ministry of Defence

Swedish Coast Guard

The [ Swedish Coast Guard] , or "Kustbevakningen" enforce Swedish law on the sea, independently or together with the Swedish Police. This includes sobriety tests of the operators of any marine vessel.

Swedish Military Police

The Swedish military police is the law enforcement service of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Life Guards is responsible for training military police soldiers, Royal Guards and other guards. The duties of the military police outside the military may include protection and safety of foreign Heads of State.

The connection between the military police units and the Life Guards is similar to the structure in the Swedish Police Service; the Life Guard is responsible for service, coordination and development of the military police, and the local unit is responsible to investigate and keep law and order at the camp.

Agencies under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

National Board of Institutions

The [ Swedish National Board of Institutions] is the Swedish youth probation agency.


In Sweden, police (Polis) cars were white with black fenders and roof. The roof was painted black on request from northern Sweden as a white roof would make the car nearly invisible when driving in the snow. More recently, Sweden has changed from black paint to light blue stickers, and from 2005 they use blue and fluorescent yellow stickers. Most of Swedish police cars are either Volvos or Saabs.

See also


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