The overall aim of the Swedish Crime Victim Authority is to look after the rights of all crime victims and to draw public attention to their needs and interests.
The authority is located in Umeå, and is nationally responsible for four areas of activities:
- Criminal injuries compensation
- Recovery of payments
- The Crime Victims Fund
- Centre of Competence.
Criminal Injuries Compensation
A person who has been subjected to crime may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation, if the offender is unable to pay damages and there is no insurance covering the injuries arising from the crime. This compensation is financed through tax revenue and is primarily intended to compensate for personal injury. The possibility to receive compensation for loss or damage to property and for financial loss is very limited.
Recovery of payment
The aim is for the offender in all cases to pay damages. The Swedish Crime Victim Authority therefore tries subsequently to claim from the offender the criminal injuries compensation already paid out.
Crime Victim Fund
The purpose of the Fund is to provide economic support to activities aimed at improving the situation for crime victims, initiated by researchers, NGOs, public bodies, private institutions and others, who in their profession deal with problems concerning crime victims.
The Fund is mainly financed by money from convicted offenders. All offenders convicted for an offence punishable by a prison sentence are liable to pay a lump sum of 800 SEK to the Fund. In addition, money is channelled from prisoners under electronic supervision.
Centre of Competence
In its role as Centre of Competence for crime victim issues, the authority informs victims, professionals, and the public on matters regarding victims of crime. It arranges seminars and training for professionals within the criminal justice system, NGOs, staff in health care, and social services. The authority produces information material, such as folders, leaflets and reports, in Swedish as well as in other languages.
The authority also administers several webpages for certain types of crime victims as well as online training tools for schools, volunteers and professionals in the justice system.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is the highest decision-making body regarding criminal injuries compensation. It is appointed by the Swedish government and resolves matters of a principal nature or of greater importance. The Board consists of active court lawyers, insurance experts, and members of the Swedish parliament. Normally, the Board meets three to six times a year. The decisions made by the Board cannot be appealed.
The Council of the Crime Victim Fund
The Council of the Crime Victim Fund reviews matters regarding grants from the Crime Victim Fund, administered by the Swedish Crime Victim Authority. This council is made up of the authority’s Director-General and seven other members appointed by the Government. The members are persons with research experience and a sound knowledge of crime victims and crime victim activities.