Swedish Police Service

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The Swedish National Police Board
Common name Polisen
Abbreviation SNPB
Polisen logo.svg
Coat of arms and wordmark of Polisen
Agency overview
Employees 28,500[1]
Annual budget 20.6 billion SEK[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Sweden
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Stockholm
Police officers 19,911 (2013) [3]
Civilians 8,577 (2013) [3]
Minister responsible Morgan Johansson, Minister of Justice
Agency executive Bengt Svenson[4], National Police Commissioner
Parent agency Ministry of Justice
Child agencies

The Swedish Police Service (Swedish: Polisen) is a collection of government agencies responsible for general police and law enforcement matters in Sweden. The logotype of the Swedish Police consists of the royal crown on top of the three crown badge, encircled by two oaken twigs and two crossed fasces.[5]

The Swedish Police Service consists of the Swedish National Police Board (Swedish: Rikspolisstyrelsen) and 21 county police authorities (Swedish: länspolismyndigheter).[6]


The Police Services consists of 28,500 employees, in total: 20,000 police officers, and 8,500 civilian employees.[1] Almost all active duty police officers are unionized members of the Swedish Police Union (Swedish: Polisförbundet).[7]

There is a formal command structure with rank insignia.

The Swedish National Police Board[edit]

The Swedish National Police Board (Swedish: Rikspolisstyrelsen) is the central administrative and supervisory authority of the police services, and is headed by the National Police Commissioner (Swedish: Rikspolischefen) who is appointed by the Government. The current National Police Commissioner is Bengt Svenson. Among other things, the SNPB is responsible for the development of new working methods and technological and administrative support. It is also—through the National Police Academy—responsible for the training of police officers. It is also the principal agency for the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL).

The National Police Board also consists of two national departments:

The National Bureau of Investigation, Rikskriminalpolisen (RKP)

The Swedish National Bureau of Investigation's mission is fighting serious organised crime, being the point of contact for international police cooperation and crisis management. Its responsibilities are to lead and coordinate resources such as criminal intelligence, border control issues and witness protection, to provide special expertise and conduct operational police work, both on its own and assisting local police authorities. It is organised in five divisions: The Chief of staff's office, the Central border control division, the International police cooperation division, the Criminal intelligence and investigation division and the Special operations division (e.g. the National Task Force and the Police Helicopter Service).

The Swedish Security Service, Säkerhetspolisen (SÄPO)

The Security Service's mission is to prevent and detect offences against Swedish national security, fight terrorism and protect the central Government. It works in counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, protection of the Swedish constitution, protective security and dignitary protection.

County Police Authorities[edit]

In each of the 21 Counties of Sweden there is a County Police Authority, which is headed by a County Police Commissioner. There is also a County Police Board, consisting of local politicians and the commissioner. The Commissioners and the members of the board are all appointed by the Government of Sweden. The County Police Authorities report to the National Police Board which in turn report to the Ministry of Justice.

Crisis management[edit]

The police have special units that are used in more difficult situations or serious security threats, such as the Piketen emergency response teams (SWAT) in the three largest cities and the paramilitary National Task Force (Swedish: Nationella insatsstyrkan).



Swedish police helicopter (Eurocopter EC135 P2).

The Swedish police operate a number of helicopters as support units. Tasked mainly with observation and search duties while being stationed in a number of locations in Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Östersund and Boden). The type used at present is the Eurocopter EC-135.

Ground vehicles[edit]

For most of the 20th century, Swedish police vehicles were painted black and white. In 1990, Swedish police cars changed to a blue and fluorescent yellow livery (Battenburg markings), from a white and blue one. Most Swedish police cars are either Volvos or SAABs, with the same livery all over Sweden. In later years, due to the 2010 bankruptcy of SAAB, the use of other brands, such as Volkswagen Passat and BMW 5-series, has become more common.

Personal equipment[edit]

Almost all officers wear a waistbelt which carries a service pistol (the official side arms for the Swedish police are the SIG Sauer P225, P226, P228, P229, and P239), extra magazine, expandable baton, handcuffs, TETRA radio, mobile phone, pepper spray, keys and gloves. All police officers must carry identification.

Radio communications[edit]

Swedish police use digital radio system, RAKEL (RadioKommunikation för Effektiv Ledning,"Radio Communication for Effective Command and Control"), an encrypted TETRA-system. It is possible to communicate with Fire Departments and Medical Teams. Every unit is assigned a 7-figure serial where the first digit indicates the type of organisation, 1 for police, 2 for Fire Department, 3 for Ambulances. In normal use units are called with the following six figures in pairs, 41-91-00. The last two indicate the type of unit, where 00 indicates some kind of command function, normally a sergeant.

Rakel is covering 99,84 % of Swedish citizens and 95% of the country, mountain areas excepted.

Control Rooms[edit]

Swedish Police have control rooms spread across the country where operators handle emergency calls and manage the response to incidents. Swedish Police use the CORTEX ICCS software application from APD Communications Ltd to communicate with the public over the telephony network and officers over the RAKEL radio network. Swedish Police use Steria's STORM Command and Control application which interfaces with CORTEX and others systems to enable operators resolve incidents quickly. APD's CORTEX and Steria's STORM products are used by police forces across the UK and Middle East.



External links[edit]