The city of Gothenburg first out in a new fight against incorrect population registration

Gothenburg becomes a pilot municipality in the fight against incorrect population registration. Together with twelve authorities, the municipality will map where people live, as a weapon against organized crime within the framework of a new government assignment.

“This is an important instrument”, says the municipal board chairman Axel Josefson.

Before the summer, the Swedish Tax Agency received an assignment from the government to strengthen the population register’s efforts in the work against serious organized crime.

This is a kind of pilot project where the city of Gothenburg and Södertälje municipality have shown interest. Now the authority and the municipalities must work together to develop methods and working methods for incorrect population registration linked to organized crime.

“This is important for several reasons. On the one hand, we have cases where up to 30 people are registered at the same address so that welfare systems are used. It’s about black contracts and trading with them. It is important for security in the area that you know who lives there”, says Axel Josefson.

Picks out incorrect entries

The purpose is to find out who lives within the municipality by ensuring that grants are not paid on the wrong grounds, because it is known that parts of organized crime were in a system to pick out grants by signing up at the wrong addresses.

But it is also seen as a good way to access other forms of organized crime.

“First and foremost, better control and that we can start a better collaboration with government agencies. We need better collaboration to access organized crime”, says Axel Josefson.

In addition to the Swedish Tax Agency, authorities such as the employment service and the social insurance office are involved in the project. The background to the fact that Gothenburg, together with Södertälje, was selected to participate in the pilot project is that the city has shown interest in participating.

“The government has rounded the municipalities that have vulnerable areas. In that context, we have said that we want to participate in the project”, says Axel Josefson.

The Swedish Tax Agency hopes that the cooperation will turn out so well that more municipalities want to work in a similar way in the future. The authorities have previously worked to map systematic errors in the population register.

The population registration offenses are prioritized by the Swedish Tax Agency. Since July 1, 2018, it is illegal to be incorrectly registered. Intentionally incorrect population registration is a crime that can result in a fine or imprisonment if it is serious up to two years in prison.