Sweden has a shortage of police.
The Swedish Police Union believes this is mainly due to low wages and poor working conditions.
At the same time, only a few people with the right qualifications apply for police training. Training venues are empty.
For people with a neuropsychiatric diagnosis (NPF diagnosis), such as ADHD or ADD, it is impossible with the current admission requirements for training as a police officer. It is immediately sorted. Without any individual evaluation.
It may seem reasonable at first glance. But given the broad range of these diagnoses, it would be wrong to classify an entire group of applicants without individual evaluation.
We must bear in mind in this context that there is not the same obstacle for a person with a neuropsychiatric diagnosis to apply for medical education, for example.
Tests before admission to the Police Academy are extensive. All applicants are mentally and physically tested to see if they are suitable to become police officers. However, for individuals with a diagnosis of NPF, individual trials are not permitted.
The police authority does not aspire to change this situation.
According to the police authority, police should reflect society and make use of the skills that diversity brings. At the same time, one chooses to exclude everyone with a diagnosis of NPF. Without proof that they would not be able to handle the profession.
Of course, there are people with ADHD, for example, who are not suitable for working as police officers. Just as there are undiagnosed people who are not suited to the profession as well.
When police training places are empty and Sweden has a shortage of police, the arguments must be based on facts.
The police authority’s knowledge of neuropsychiatric disabilities should be based on science, not on loose assumptions that all persons with a diagnosis of NPF are inappropriate as police officers.
Our northern neighbors Norway and Finland are role models when it comes to police training.
They do not have the same restrictions as Sweden. A person with ADHD, for example, is welcome to apply for police training after an individualized assessment. The same applies to Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Swedish police have to learn from our neighbors, and instead of sorting out an entire class of people, do individual assessments.
Sweden works in many areas against discrimination. But not in this case.
This outdated approach to neuropsychiatric diagnoses means Sweden is losing good police officers.