The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) has said that it will not gather ethnic or migrant background data on criminal suspects, claiming the data would not help its mission.

The statement came after an inquiry from Moderate Party politician Tomas Tobé who, like many others, has argued that the statistics agency should gather as much data as possible in order to paint a clearer picture of crime in the country, Helsingborgs Dagblad reports.

“It a betrayal to the victims to actively rule out also looking at the foreign background of the perpetrators. It is obvious that Brå does not dare to do this because they lack government support,” Tobé said.

The Moderate Party has demanded in the past that the council should gather ethnic and migrant background data, but Justice Minister Morgan Johansson of the Social Democrats has claimed the decision is up to Brå itself.

Press Officer of Brå Monica Landergård said that to gather the data would require “a completely different study, and then the question would probably not apply to the development of vulnerability to crime, which is the focus of this mission”.

“It is normal in other countries to get as much knowledge as possible to take action. In Denmark, for example, it has led to a Red Cross sexual education programme becoming mandatory for all young new arrivals. I do not understand why we continue to sweep difficult issues under the carpet,” Tobé said.

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