Violence and assault

During 2017, approximately 84,200 assault offences were reported in Sweden. In the Swedish Crime Survey, 2 per cent of the respondents stated that they had been exposed to assault in 2015.

Victims of assault

Victims of assault, incl. serious assault (which required some form of medical care). Percentage of the population (ages 16–79), 2005–2016. Source: NTU 2017.

The Swedish Crime Survey shows that the percentage of individuals who state that they were a victim of assault in 2016 is 2.7 per cent. The level is higher than in 2015, when 2.0 per cent were a victim of assault. The trend for the period 2005–2015 was one of a weak decline, but the increase in 2016 returns the percentage of victims to the same level as in 2005. It is too early to say whether the most recent increase is the beginning of an upward trend or whether it is a temporary deviation from a trend that is otherwise one of weak decline.

Men were victims of assault more often than women and victims of assault were most commonly in the 20–24 age bracket.

Gender

Victims of assault. Percentage for each gender, 2005–2016. Source: SCS 2017.

Age

Victims of assault, 2016. Percentage for each age group. Source: SCS 2017

Crime scene

Type of crime scene for assault, 2016. Percentage of the total number of reported incidents by location. Source: SCS 2017

Relationship to the perpetrator

Relationship to the perpetrator in conjunction with assault, 2016. Incidents as a percentage of the total number of incidents, based on gender. Source: SCS 2017

Reported assault

Number of reported assault offences: all reported offences, of which against men 18 years of age and older, against women 18 years of age and older, and against children, 0 – 17 years of age. Source: Reported offences

Reported offences

A total of 84,200 assault offences were reported in 2017; this is a reduction by 5 per cent as compared with 2016. In 2017 the level of reported assault offences was roughly the same as in 2007.

During 2017, there were 28,000 assault offences against women 18 years of age and older, corresponding to a reduction by 1,100 as compared with the preceding year. The majority of these assaults, 63 per cent, were assault offences which took place indoors by an acquaintance.

During 2017, there were 32,600 assault offences reported against men 18 years of age and older, which is a 10 per cent reduction as compared with 2016. Approximately 41 per cent of these reported offences concerned assault outdoors by an unknown person (wheras the corresponding share for women was 12 %).

In 2017, a total of 23,600 assault offences against children were reported.

Cleared assault offences

Person-based clearance rate² for assault (including aggravated, not with a lethal outcome). Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

In 2016, 86,500 assault offences were processed¹. An investigation was commenced for the majority of the processed offences (88%, or 75,900 offences), while the other 12 per cent (10,600 offences) were dismissed with no investigation. Investigation was limited in a total of 1 per cent (929) of the processed assault offences, and in the majority after investigation was commenced.

There was at least one person registered as suspected of the offence for 58 per cent (49,900) of the processed assault offences. The person-based clearance rate² for assault offences in 2016 was 11 per cent. The level has declined by 7 percentage points over the most recent ten years. The decline has been ongoing since 2010.

The conviction rate for assault offences the same year was 13 per cent.

Persons suspected of assault

All persons suspected of assault (including aggravated, not with a lethal outcome), of which person suspected of assault against men 18 years of age and older, against women 18 years of age and older, and against children, 0 – 17 years of age. Until 2007, assault against children 15 – 17 years of age was reported together with assault against men and women 18 years of age and older. Accordingly, comparisons in these categories cannot be made for 2007. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

Assault represents the largest offence category among persons suspected of offences. In 2016, 464 persons per 100,000 population were registered as suspected of assault offences. As compared with 2007, the number of suspected persons declined by 6 per cent.

Persons found guilty of offences of assault

Number of conviction decisions of assault as the primary offence (including aggravated assault and exceptionally aggravated assault offences), 2007 – 2016. Source: Persons found guilty of offences

Convictions

Assault constitutes the largest category of offence among conviction decisions³ of violent offences. In 2016, 5,600 conviction decisions were issued of assault as the primary offence, which is a reduction of 700 decisions, or 11 per cent, as compared with the preceding year. The number of conviction decisions of assault has also declined as compared with 2007, by a total of 3,460 decisions or 38 per cent.

When acts such as assault, unlawful threat, molestation, and so forth constitute a step in repeated violations of integrity, they can be categorised as aggravated violation of a woman's integrity or aggravated violation of integrity. In 2016, there were 163 conviction decisions of aggravated violation of a woman's integrity as the primary offence and 75 conviction decisions of aggravated violation of integrity as the primary offence.

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.