Sweden Sweden


Sweden, Wigerfelt, B. Wigerfelt A. and Kiiskinen J. (2014), When Colour Matters: Policing and Hate Crime, Social Inclusion, 2(1), 1-11

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Type of publication

Study - qualitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - regional level

Type of Institution



Wigerfelt, B. Wigerfelt A. and Kiiskinen J.

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia

Target Population

Muslims Migrants Refugees & Asylum seekers People of African descent and Black Europeans

Key findings

The report shows that people with dark skin are targets of special kinds of private and public policing, based on racial and ethnic profiling. The profiling often occurs on or near borders. When the targeted persons resist this kind of treatment, e.g. by crossing borders they are at risk of becoming victims of hate crime. The interviewees recounted how they were discriminated and treated differently to an unacceptable degree because of their dark skin or other phenotypical markers that are not considered to conform to white norms.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Qualitative-based study primarily based on individual interviews. Some of the informants were interviewed several times. Researchers stopped collecting data when they considered that a “theoretical saturation” been reached, i.e. when the new interviews did not contribute with any new data.

Sample details and representativeness

The informants included seven men and eight women between 20 and 61 years, mainly living in southern Sweden. The informants had different national, class and religious affiliations. The researcher came in contact with the informants via the Pan African Movement for Justice (an independent political and religious organisation for people with an African background), anti-discrimination offices and personal contacts that have led to other contacts through the snowball method. Those who volunteered to be interviewed regarded themselves as having been exposed to some kind of special treatment due to the colour of their skin and communicated representations of these experiences.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.