In today’s news, you read that the police in Stockholm returned to high schools to demand a list of students with a Mongolian background. According to Dagens Nyheter, at least one principal has refused to follow the call and has reported the police to the ombudsman, JO. According to the DO, the police demand poses a risk of prejudice.
In previous decisions, regarding the finding that the police in Malmö had established a register of Roma, the DO pointed out the risks of discriminatory ethnic profiling in such an illegal register.
For example, if police conduct crime fighting based on people’s race, there may be racial profiling. It might be if the police are looking for criminals, especially people of a certain appearance or ethnic background. Studies conducted in Great Britain, among others, have been able to show that racial profiling by the police can lead to discrimination in interactions between the police and the public.
– I was really shocked when I heard about it, but the principal concerned acted very positively and the matter has now been reported to the JO, says Lars Arrhenius, anti-discrimination specialist.
At this time, the DO does not know if any school has followed up on a police call, but the DO may initiate oversight if it is discovered that this has occurred. In that case, the monitoring would be directed to the Education Organiser, i.e. the person in charge of the school, as the DO currently has no oversight over police activities.
– The inability of the DO to directly monitor the police in this type of situation is a major shortcoming in the protection against discrimination and one I have pointed out to the government on several occasions and proposed in the inquiry. I hope the government will act as soon as possible and take the necessary steps to rectify this shortcoming, says Lars Arrhenius.
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