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The Swedish Crime Survey

The Conucil's web site and the year book Criminal statistics. Photo: Ester Sorri
The Swedish Crime Survey is a recurrent, annual survey of the attitudes and experiences of the general population of Sweden (aged 16-79 years) regarding victimization, fear of crime and public confidence in the justice system.

The first survey was conducted in 2006. Slightly under 8,000 individuals participated in the survey and responded to an extensive set of questions designed to illustrate these topics. The subsequent waves of data collection have been conducted using  twice the sample size, which has resulted in almost 12,000 respondents annually.

The interviews are conducted by Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån), mainly by telephone. An abridged version of the questionnaire is sent to those who cannot be reached, or who decline to participate by phone. Examples of questions asked in the survey are: “Were you threatened last year in such a way that you were frightened?"; Are you anxious about crime in society?" and “What is the extent of your confidence in the way the police carry out their work?" The response rate is relatively high; just over three quarters of the individuals in the sample have participated in the survey.

As a result of the Swedish Crime Survey, we have a comprehensive survey of self-reported victimization, with results that also cast light on complex perceptions of fear of crime and on the public´s confidence in the criminal justice system in general, and in its various agencies in particular. This information can be used as a valuable indicator of  exposure to crime (for example in relation to the official crime statistics), as a means of describing perceptions of safety (or fear of crime) or confidence, and also as a national reference point for other surveys. As the number of individuals who have participated in the survey increases, it will be possible to undertake additional and more detailed analyses.

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