Measures for Personal Protection

When you have been subjected to a crime, you may in some cases need protection from threats and risks.

There are a number of measures intended to improve the safety of threatened persons:

Restraining Order
The purpose of a restraining order is to avoid dangerous situations. A restraining order means that the person threatening and harassing you is forbidden to visit you, follow you, or contact you in any other way, such as by letter, text message, telephone, or through friends. Such an order may also be extended so that the person in question is forbidden to come near your home, place of work, or any other place you normally visit.

A restraining order can also be imposed on a person who lives together with the threatened person. That kind of restraining order, which is intended to shut out the harasser from the common home, can only be imposed if there is a serious risk of crimes that threaten the partner’s life, health, freedom, or integrity.

It is the prosecutor who decides whether to impose a restraining order. If the prosecutor decides not to do so, you may request the District Court to review the decision. A person who violates a restraining order may be sentenced to pay a fine or to imprisonment for up to one year.

Security Package
People subjected to severe threats may sometimes be issued with a security package, comprising a mobile telephone and an alarm system. The package can be borrowed from the local police authority after special review.

Obligation to Inform You
If you have been subjected to a crime and the offender has been sentenced to imprisonment or is undergoing institutional psychiatric care as a result, the prison management has an obligation to inform you if the convict is granted leave, if he or she escapes, is transferred to another prison, or is released.

Restricted Access to Your Personal Data
Normally, information such as your name, address, and personal identity number is unrestricted.  If you need to keep your address secret in order to avoid threats and other kinds of harassment, you may request restricted access to your personal data stored in the National Population Register. Another way of protecting personal data is to register a threatened person who has moved, or intends to move, under his or her old address in the National Population Register. Applications for these measures should be addressed to the tax office in the municipality where you are registered.

Change of Name
Another way of increasing your personal protection is to change your name. A change of name to a parent’s surname can be done through an application to the Swedish Tax Agency. A change to any other surname requires permission from the Swedish Patent and Registration Office.

Assumed Identity
If there is a risk of very serious crimes against your life, health, or freedom, and none of the other protective measures are deemed adequate, you may be granted permission to use an assumed, fictitious, identity. An application to use an assumed identity is made to the National Police Board.

Last Updated: 2012-08-27