Hate crimes are on the rise in Sweden so the Swedish government has decided to invest more money to reverse the trend. The investment includes improving how the police investigate hate crimes as well as how the police create trust with vulnerable groups in society.
The Democracy and Hate Crime group within the Police Authority Region South has dedicated parts of the new funding to organize two, 2-day workshops for colleagues in the south and east region and requested the institute to teach at these workshops. The first training was held in Malmö in October and the second one was in Flen in early November.
Andreas Ljungholm, Team Leader of Fair and Efficient Justice at RWI, gave an introduction to human rights to the 110 employees within the police that took part in the training.
“The training aimed to increase knowledge and understanding of democracy and hatred with the idea to improve investigations and reduce hate crime going forward,” says Lina Kronström, Coordinator, Democracy and Hate Crime group, Region South.
Kronström says it is important for police, but also for other public authorities and private companies, to gain knowledge about human rights and hate crimes. Ljungholm agrees, saying hate crimes not only affect the safety of individuals, but also their societies as a whole.
“Members of societies who are afraid of being attacked cannot move freely or fully participate in the society, which hinders them from exercising their human rights in full,” he says. “If not taken seriously, hate crimes can ultimately, in the worst case scenario, lead to national and international conflicts.”
Other contributors at the training included Alexandra Pascalidou (journalist), Lena Körner (Hate Crime Prosecutor), Kitimbwa Sabuni (spokesperson for the Afro-Swedes National Association) and Lukas Svärd (who shared his journey from being a woman to becoming a man).
Kronström says after completion of the training, the participants will be able to better identify a democracy or hate crime and understand how hate crime can affect vulnerable individuals and groups, both in the long- and short-term.
The participants will also be better at investigating democracy and hatred, as well as understanding the importance of creating and safeguarding confidence in individuals or groups exposed to or at risk of being subjected to these crimes.