The Stockholm police had been stuck in the investigation into a brawl at Solna station in early September. The preliminary investigation stood still. But when the police recently released images from a surveillance film, the crucial tips from the public came in less than a day.
- They tested it as a final measure before possibly closing the investigation. According to the preliminary investigation, it was probable that the crime would not have been solved otherwise, says Carina Skagerlind, the police spokesperson in Stockholm.powerful Tools
The case in Solna is one of several that the police have recently been able to proceed with thanks to similar calls. Carina Skagerlind believes that the organization in the Stockholm Police Region has become more aware of what a powerful tool is in releasing images to the public, especially in the social media era.
"It is an incredibly good tool in the criminal investigation work," she says.
- It could be used much more than we do today.Innocent risk is pointed out
At the same time it is not easy to go out with pictures to the public - the risk is that innocent people are wrongly identified as criminals. Therefore, there is a whole set of guidelines for determining when, how and why the police may publish images of suspected persons.
Among other things, the crime must be serious enough to justify violating the privacy of the individual. The police are also not allowed to publish photos in social media, but only on their website which you can then link to. In the end, each individual decision is taken by the concerned investigator.
- It must not be an easy decision. There are a number of rules that must be adhered to, which is why we have the guidelines, says Carina Skagerlind."Never arbitrary"
Rather, she believes that police from some quarters are being criticized for not releasing more pictures of suspected perpetrators.
- There is no doubt that the public wants to help. But there are very strong forces on social media that ask for a picture of suspicious and clear signal elements. There is a great deal of pressure.
TT: Does it affect the way the police work?
-I wouldn't say that's why we started with more pictures. I believe, on the other hand, that social media, and the power that is there, is something the police have become more aware of can be helpful, says Carina Skagerlind.