Violence and assault

During 2018, approximately 83,200 assault offences were reported in Sweden. In the Swedish Crime Survey, 3.3 per cent of the respondents stated that they had been exposed to assault in 2017.

Victims of assault

Victims of assault. Percentage for each gender, 2006–2017. Source: Swedish Crime Survey.

The results regarding victimisation 2006–2015 are recalculated since the SCS was then carried out with another method. Read more about this in the 2018 SCS, technical report (Brå 2019). For the corresponding results before the recalculation, see previous SCS publications.

The Swedish Crime Survey shows that the percentage of individuals who state that they were a victim of assault in 2017 is 3.3 per cent of the population (aged 16–84). The level is slightly higher than in 2016, when 3.1 per cent were a victim of assault. The trend for the period 2006–2015 was one of a weak decline although with some yearly variations. In 2016 the proportion of victims increased, and the higher level is also noted for 2017. With the increase of the last two years, the proportion is now at about the same level as in 2006. Men were victims of assault more often than women and victims of assault were most commonly in the 16–19 age bracket.

Age

Victims of assault, 2017. Percentage for each age group. Source: Swedish Crime Survey

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 83,200 assault offences were reported in 2018; this is a reduction by 1 per cent as compared with 2017. In 2017 the level of reported assault offences was roughly the same, or -4 per cent, as in 2007.

During 2018, there were 37,600 assualt offences against women/girls, corresponding to an increase by 3 per cent compared with the preceding year, and by 13 per cent compared with 2009. There were 45,600 assault offences reported against men/boys, a reduction by 4 per cent compared with the preceding year, and by 14 per cent compared with 2009. During 2018, 55 per cent of all assault offences were against men/boys, and 45 per cent against women/girls.

The majority, or 71 per cent, of all assault offences were reported against adults (aged 18 and above), 9 per cent were reported against children aged 15-17 years, 15 percent against children aged 7-14 years, and 5 per cent against children aged between 0-6 years.

Cleared assault offences

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

Processed offences

In 2018, 84,400 assault offences were processed¹, a reduction by 2 per cent compared with the preceding year. An investigation was commenced for the majority of the processed offences (87%), while the other 13 per cent were dismissed with no investigation.

The person-based clearance rate² for assault offences in 2018 was 11 per cent.

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. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

Assault represents the largest offence category among persons suspected of offences. In 2018, 439 persons per 100,000 population were registered as suspected of assault offences. As compared with 2009, the number of suspected persons declined by 21 per cent.

Persons found guilty of offences of assault

Number of conviction decisions of assault or aggravated assault (including exceptionally aggravated assault) offences as the primary offence, 2009 – 2018. Source: Persons found guilty of offences

Convictions

Assault constitutes the largest category of offence among conviction decisions³ of violent offences. In 2018, 4,340 conviction decisions were issued of assault as the primary offence, which is a reduction of 2 per cent, as compared with the preceding year.

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.