I skuggan av en brottsutredning: En rättssociologisk undersökning om Polismyndighetens brottsofferstöd
The judicial system in Sweden has a tradition of focusing on the perpetrator of the crime. The lesser focus on victims may lead to a decreased focus on victims’ human rights. This raises the question of how victims of crime obtain their right to health and healthcare. As the frontline authority regarding matters of crime, and often being the first actor victims meet, the Police can play an important role regarding improving victims' right to health and healthcare, by streamlining their work with victim support and offering contact to other relevant actors of health care. This thesis seeks to abductively explore how Polismyndigheten in Polisregion Väst should implement victim support according to policy, and how victim support is implemented in practice. Two policies (Brottsofferarbetet inom Polisen: en nationell handlingsplan and Handboken för information till brottsoffer) and five key respondant interviews with criminal investigators have been qualitatively analyzed by open coding. The methodological framework of idea analysis and VFB-triads (values, descriptions and regulations) have then been applied to the discovered codes and themes. Furthermore, theories about internal and external understanding of law, as well as the concept of duty bearers and rights holders are used to understand the results of the study. The main finding of the thesis is that the potential that Polismyndigheten has as a frontline actor disappears in unclear guidelines regarding how and why the organization should conduct victim support. There are also perceptions about other actors’ greater responsibility regarding victim support, such as the social service, Brottsofferjouren and counsels for an injured party (målsägandebiträden). Furthermore, the idea of Polismyndighetens victim support is mainly based on making the investigation more effective and less stressful for the victim, treating victims with empathy and providing information about external actors’ victim support. However, there is an experienced conflict between victim support and investigating in an objective manner. Lastly, victims’ right to health and healthcare is often interpreted as support, such as counseling, and not as medical assistance.