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Swedish Security Service

Swedish Security Service
Säkerhetspolisen (Säpo)
Coat of arms of Säpo
Agency overview
Formed October 1, 1989 (1989-10-01)
Preceding agency
  • National Police Board's Department of Security
Headquarters Bolstomtavägen 2, Solna, Sweden
Employees Approximately 1,100 (2014)[1]
Annual budget SEK 1.142 billion (2015)[2]
Minister responsible
  • Minister for Justice
Agency executive
Parent agency Ministry of Justice

The Swedish Security Service (intelligence gathering activities, including interrogations, telephone tapping, covert listening devices and hidden surveillance cameras.[5][6] The Service was — in its present form — founded in 1989, as part of the National Police Board and became an autonomous police agency January 1, 2015.[1][7] National headquarters are located at Ingenting in Solna since 2014, drawing together personnel from five different locations into a single 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) HQ facility.[8][9]


  • History 1
  • Areas of responsibility 2
  • Organisation 3
    • Offices 3.1
    • Head of the Swedish Security Service 3.2
  • In popular culture 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
    • Citations 7.1
    • Bibliography 7.2
  • External links 8


Lt Col Adlercreutz, credited with the formation of the General Security Service in 1938

The origins of the Swedish Security Service is often linked to the establishment of a special police bureau (Polisbyrån) during the National Police Board in the Department of Security (Rikspolisstyrelsens säkerhetsavdelning, abbreviated RPS/SÄK).[17][18]

Stig Wennerström, convicted Soviet spy, c. 1960

The period between 1939 and 1945 was marked with extensive foreign intelligence activity in Sweden, resulting in the arrest of numerous spies and enemy agents. Some of the most notorious post-war spies are

  • Official website

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Swedish Security Service 2015, 'Yearbook', p. 10.
  2. ^ Swedish National Financial Management Authority 2014.
  3. ^ Swedish Security Service 2013, p. 8.
  4. ^ a b SFS 1984:387, § 3.
  5. ^ SOU 2012:44, pp. 114, 118-123.
  6. ^ 2014/15:JuU2.
  7. ^ 2013/14:JuU1.
  8. ^ Törnmalm 2010.
  9. ^ Skanska 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Nationalencyklopedin 1989.
  11. ^ a b Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 7, 9.
  12. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 7, 10, 15.
  13. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 9-12.
  14. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 15-16.
  15. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 16-18.
  16. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 7, 19.
  17. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, p. 5.
  18. ^ Grahn 2013.
  19. ^ Forsberg 2003, Bilaga 1.
  20. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014, pp. 5, 35, 40.
  21. ^ Hansén 2007, pp. 47-48, 175, 178.
  22. ^ Hansén 2007, p. 163.
  23. ^ Isaksson 2007.
  24. ^ Forsberg 2003, p. 18.
  25. ^ a b Swedish Security Service 2013, p. 12.
  26. ^ a b Swedish Security Service 2014, p. 47.
  27. ^ Hansén 2007, pp. 89-90, 178.
  28. ^ Hansén 2007, p. 87.
  29. ^ SOU 2004:108.
  30. ^ Swedish Ministry of Justice 2015.
  31. ^ SFS 2014:1103, § 4.
  32. ^ Beckman, Olsson & Wockelberg 2003, pp. 19-20.
  33. ^ Swedish Security Service 2014.



  1. ^ See also the article on Ministerstyre and the official translation of the constitution at the Riksdag website: 1974 Instrument of Government, Chapter 12, Art. 2
  2. ^ Based on an organisational chart and translation published by Säpo in 2015


See also

The Security Service's role in Cold War counterintelligence is referred to in the second and third novels of the best-selling "Millennium series" by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson.

In popular culture

List of current and past executive officers:[33]

Head of the Swedish Security Service

   Central – Gävleborg
   Bergslagen – Värmland, Örebro and Dalarna
   West – Halland and Västra Götaland
   South – Kronoberg, Kalmar, Blekinge and Skåne
   Stockholm – Stockholm and Gotland

The Service a regional presence and operate from several locations; from its headquarters in Solna and from six regional units with offices in Umeå, Uppsala, Örebro, Norrköping, Gothenburg and Malmö. The Service has approximately 1,100 employees, of which about 10 percent are stationed at the regional offices. The regional units are based on the geographic boundaries of several counties:[1][1]


Department for Central Support Functions
Provides all support processes needed for day-to-day operations.[1]
Department of Intelligence Collection
In charge of intelligence gathering through the use of secret surveillance, informants or other interpersonal contacts, and by use of information technology (e.g. signals intelligence). Included in the department are the regional units, which primarily conduct human intelligence (HUMINT) operations and offer local knowledge and support to HQ.[1]
Department of Security Intelligence
Responsible for security intelligence work, primarily aimed at providing the Service with data for decisions regarding security measures.[1]
Department of Security Measures
Deals with threat mitigation and risk reduction measures. Areas of responsibility include close protection, investigations, information security, physical security and background checks.[1]
Secretariat for Management Support
Tasked with providing support to management.[1]
Säpo close protection officers surrounding the Minister for Finance in 2014.
[1]The Swedish Security Service became a separate agency January 1, 2015, and is directly organised under the Ministry of Justice. Similar to other government agencies in Sweden, it is essentially autonomous. Under the


  • Counter-espionage – preventing and detecting espionage and other unlawful intelligence activities; targeting Sweden, its national interests abroad, and also foreign interests and refugees within the borders of Sweden.[1]
  • Counter-subversion – to counter illegal subversive activities (e.g. violence, threats and harassment targeting elected representatives, public officials and journalists) intended to affect policy-making and implementation, or prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms.[1]
  • Counter-terrorism – preventing and detecting [1]
  • Dignitary protection – providing security and close protection officers at state visits, to senior public officials (e.g. the Speaker of the Riksdag, Prime Minister, members of the Riksdag and the Government, including State Secretaries and the Cabinet Secretary), the Royal Family, foreign diplomatic representatives, etc. As of 2014, the Service had 130 close protection officers.[1][31]
  • Protective security – providing advice, analysis and oversight to companies and government agencies of importance to national security, in addition to background checks.[1]

The Swedish Security Service's main tasks and responsibilities are:[4][10]

Spending 2014[1]

  Dignitary protection (44%)
  Counter-terrorism (30%)
  Counter-espionage (12%)
  Counter-subversion (10%)
  Protective security (4%)

Areas of responsibility


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