Swedish Security Service
Coat of arms of Säpo
|Formed||October 1, 1989|
|Headquarters||Bolstomtavägen 2, Solna, Sweden
|Employees||Approximately 1,100 (2014)|
|Annual budget||SEK 1,142,065,000 (2015)|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Justice|
The Swedish Security Service (Swedish: Säkerhetspolisen, abbreviated Säpo) is a Swedish government agency organised under the Ministry of Justice. Areas of responsibility include protection of the constitution, close protection, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. The Swedish Security Service is also tasked with investigating crimes against national security and terrorist crimes. Its main mission, however, is to prevent crime, and not to investigate them. Crime prevention is to a large extent based on information acquired via contacts with the regular police force, other authorities and organizations, foreign intelligence and security services, and with the use of intelligence gathering, including interrogations, telephone tapping, covert listening devices and surveillance.
The Service was — in its present form — founded in 1989, as part of the Swedish National Police Board and became an autonomous police agency January 1, 2015. National headquarters are located at Ingenting in Solna since 2014, drawing together personnel from five different locations into a single HQ facility.
Areas of responsibility
The Swedish Security Service's main tasks and responsibilities are:
- Counter-espionage – preventing and detecting espionage and other unlawful intelligence activities; targeting Sweden, its national interests abroad, and also foreign interests and refugees within the borders of Sweden.
- Counter-terrorism – preventing and detecting terrorism; this includes acts of terrorism directed against Sweden or foreign interests within the borders of Sweden, as well as terrorism in other countries and the financing and support of terrorist organizations in Sweden.
- National security – this includes providing advice, analysis and oversight to companies and government agencies of importance to national security, in addition to records– and background checks.
- Protection of the constitution – to counter illegal subversive activities (e.g. violence, threats and harassment targeting elected representatives, public officials and journalists) intended to affect policy-making and implementation, or prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms.
- Protective security – providing security and close protection officers at state visits, to senior public officials (e.g. the Speaker of the Riksdag, Prime Minister, members of the Riksdag and the Government, including State Secretaries and the Cabinet Secretary), the Royal Family, foreign diplomatic representatives, etc. As of 2014, the Service had 130 close protection officers.
In 2014, close protection expenditures accounted for 44% of the spending, while 30% went to counter-terrorism, 12% to counter-espionage and 10% to counter-subversion.
The Swedish Security Service became a separate agency January 1, 2015, and is directly organised under the Ministry of Justice. The Service is led by a Director-General, Anders Thornberg, who is titled Head of the Swedish Security Service. Operations are led by a Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly the Head of the Security Service. He is in turn assisted by a Deputy Chief Operating Officer and an Office for Operations. The Service is organised into four departments and a secretariat, each led by a Head of Department.
|Swedish Security Service Organizational Chart|
*Includes regional units
- Department for Central Support Functions
- Provides all support processes needed for day-to-day operations.
- Department of Intelligence Collection
- In charge of intelligence gathering through the use of secret surveillance, informants or other interpersonal contacts, and by use of information technology (e.g. signals intelligence). Included in the department are the regional units, which primarily conduct human intelligence (HUMINT) operations and offer local knowledge and support to HQ.
- Department of Security Intelligence
- Responsible for security intelligence work, primarily aimed at providing the Service with data for decisions regarding security measures.
- Department of Security Measures
- Deals with threat mitigation and risk reduction measures. Areas of responsibility include close protection, investigations, information security, physical security and background checks.
- Secretariat for Management Support
- Tasked with providing support to management.
The Service has a nationwide remit that calls for a regional presence and therefore operates from several locations; from its headquarters in Solna and from six regional units with offices in Umeå, Uppsala, Örebro, Norrköping, Gothenburg and Malmö. The Service has approximately 1,100 employees, of which about 10 percent are stationed at the regional offices. The regional units are based on the geographic boundaries of several counties:
Head of the Swedish Security Service
List of current and past executive officers:
- Mats Börjesson (1989-1994)
- Anders Eriksson (1994-1999)
- Jan Danielsson (2000-2003)
- Klas Bergenstrand (2004-2007)
- Anders Danielsson (2007-2012)
- Anders Thornberg (2012-present)
In popular culture
- List of intelligence agencies
- List of protective service agencies
- National Defence Radio Establishment
- Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service
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