Police seek to tweak criminal register

The Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen) is to team up with the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) in a bid to improve the effectiveness of the police's criminal register.

The announcement comes just weeks after the police came in for serious criticism for not following a lead they received concerning Anders Eklund, the man who has admitted killing ten-year-old Engla Juncosa Höglund in Dalarna in central Sweden last month.

Police received the tip last November in connection with their investigation into the murder of 31-year-old Pernilla Hellgren in Falun in the summer of 2000.

‘’If we had a better register, we could have handled the Dalarna murder case in a better way,’’ police spokeswoman Linda Widmark told The Local.

Widmark stressed however that the creation of the joint advisory group was not in any way connected to the high-profile murder of the ten-year-old girl.

The police and data inspection boards said in a joint statement issued on Thursday that they had formed an advisory group consisting of members of both bodies.

“The aim of the group is to find constructive solutions for handling personal data in a way that facilitates our crime-fighting activities while also protecting personal integrity,” said Göran Gräslund, director general of the Data Inspection Board.

The police said they were concentrating on building a more effective IT system which would enhance their ability to retrieve information about possible suspects. The group is to meet at least four times a year to discuss the development of the police’s register.

‘’The initiative was taken by the Data Inspection Board and we already had our first meeting with the National Police Board,” Data Inspection Board spokesman Per Lövgren told The Local.

“We will make sure that the personal integrity of the population is not violated,” he added.

Pär Ström, integration ombudsman at Den Nya Välfärden (The New Welfare), a Swedish NGO promoting democracy and personal integrity, welcomed the initiative. ‘

’It is a good step if it is interpreted the way they say it will be,” he told The Local.