Swedish Police keep registry of 4000 people with Romani relations

The Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter today revealed that Swedish police in the Malmö city area in southern Sweden have been keeping a registry over citizens with Romani ancestry for many years.

Pictures in the paper show that the registry is built with IBM’s software product Analyst’s Notebook. The registry is not a legacy left-over since it has been updated very recently; 52 of the over 4,000 people in the file (Total.anb) are below the age of 2 years old, living all across the country. The oldest people in the registry are deceased, born in the 1800’s.

The registry, in the form of a self-contained file of the Analyst’s Notebook file type .anb, is located on what appears to be a shared network drive with the Drive letter X: in a Windows based local network:

X:\SU\SU POMS\Kringresande\Total.anb

The folder name “Kringresande” kan be translated into “Travellers”.

The file path structure suggests that there are other folders besides the “Kringresande” folder, containing people registered for other reasons, and possible other .anb files in the “Kringresande” folder besides “Total.anb”.

In one high-lighted case, the reason for registration was that the 2-year-old’s great grand father was Romani. The child lives in a flat with her family in the Stockholm suburb of Skarpnäck.

As the registration of young children indicates, the registry is not limited to convicted criminals; in contains all kinds of people. Their only common ground is Romani ancestry – even if only one eighth part.

Dagens Nyheter reports that the file has been quite unrestricted within the police organization, with around 70 police officers having access to it on an ongoing bases. Further, the file has allegedly been shared between police colleagues via email, something that poses a great risk of the file reaching people outside of the police organization.

In any case, the registry and the registration of people on the basis of ethnicity is unlawful in Sweden, breaking several laws specifically regulating the work of the police. It is also assumed to be in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, article 8.

In the words of IBM, Analyst’s Notebook has the following benefits:

With data analysis and visualization capabilities organizations can:

  • Rapidly piece together disparate data into a single cohesive intelligence picture.
  • Identify key people, events, connections, patterns and trends that might otherwise be missed.
  • Increase understanding of the structure, hierarchy, and method of operation of criminal, terrorist and fraudulent networks.
  • Simplify the communication of complex data to enable timely and accurate operational decision making.

Information on the software used, IBM’s Analyst’s Notebook: 

http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/us/en/analysts-notebook

The original article in Swedish Dagens Nyheter:

Över tusen barn med i olaglig kartläggning – DN.SE.

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