According to a local media, an initiative launched by Sweden aimed at recruiting a more diverse police force hits a roadblock as half of all applicants with foreign backgrounds were unable to pass the admissions tests.
Stockholm instructed the police to increase the number of women and minorities within their ranks, in order to “to boost competence and increase representation,” as law enforcement struggles to deal with rising migrant crime.
Police commissioner Max Lutterman explained to Swedish Radio that Swedish cops need to have better “language and cultural competence” skills, which he believed personnel with foreign backgrounds would possess.
The recruitment drive hasn’t fared well, however. An estimated twenty-five percent of those who applied to join the police last fall had foreign backgrounds, but more than half of them reportedly failed to make the grade. Officials said the prospective cops performed poorly on language tests and other criteria necessary to be admitted into the force.
Last autumn, only ten percent of those who joined the police force were immigrants, and over two percent were women with foreign backgrounds. Police officials have conceded that the initiative has so far less been effective
Sweden is struggling to effectively combat gang-violence in which much of the crime was linked to the country’s migrant population. An increasing rate of violence and shooting over the past several years has sparked a public outcry and the government pledged more resources toward combating crime.