Swedish Police Authority (Polismyndigheten)

NordenBladet – The Swedish Police Authority (Swedish: Polismyndigheten) is the central administrative authority for the police in Sweden, responsible for law enforcement, general social order and public safety within the country.

The agency is headed by the National Police Commissioner, who is appointed by the Government and has the sole responsibility for all activities of the police. Although formally organised under the Ministry of Justice, the Swedish police is—similar to other authorities in Sweden—essentially autonomous, in accordance with the constitution. The agency is governed by general policy instruments and is subject to a number of sanctions and oversight functions, to ensure that the exercise of public authority is in compliance with regulations. Police officers typically wear a dark-blue uniform consisting of combat style trousers with a police duty belt, a polo shirt or a long sleeve button shirt, and a side-cap embellished with a metal cap badge. The standard equipment includes a handgun, pepper spray and an extendable baton.

The first modern police force in Sweden was established in the mid-19th century, and the police remained in effect under local government control up until 1965, when it was nationalized and became increasingly centralized, to finally organize under one authority January 1, 2015. Concurrent with this change, the Swedish Security Service formed its own agency. The new authority was created to address shortcomings in the division of duties and responsibilities, and to make it easier for the Government to demand greater accountability. The agency is organized into seven police regions and eight national departments. It is one of the largest government agencies in Sweden, with more than 28,500 employees, of which police officers accounted for approximately 75 percent of the personnel in 2014. It takes two and a half years to become a police officer in Sweden, including six months of paid workplace practice. Approximately a third of all police students are women, and in 2011 women accounted for 40 percent of all employees.

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