The first investigative criminologists are now graduating
Klara Westerlund from Gävle is one of the first investigative criminologists to graduate at the University of Gävle.
The only degree course in Sweden
Klara Westerlund has just finished her three-year university course, the first of its kind, in Applied Criminology, at the University of Gävle.
There is more focus on gaining practical experience on this course than other criminology courses of this kind and it is specifically aimed at the labour market.
Klara says that she liked the aims of the degree course, that one realises that the skills of the criminologist are needed in many different spheres of society.
Previous experience is a merit
Klara thinks that many students, coming directly from sixth-form college might feel somewhat insecure about the type of job assignments that they will be faced with.
“The field is very broad so it is basically one’s own interests and concerns that dictate the way forward. I had already worked at a women’s aid centre with victims of crime.”
During the course she and others have been given the chance to do field studies.
“I had such a good practical internship, we were there for nine weeks and it was completely crucial for me personally.
The labour market
Certain types of investigative tasks within the police force and as a civil investigator are obvious, such as analysts in the police force, insurance and security companies. Within the social services there are also important issues that cannot be dealt with from the standpoint of the Social Services Act.
“I can take myself as an example; I have got a job at the County Administrative Board which concerns support of methods and information regarding violence in close relationships and crimes committed in the name of honour,” states Klara.
More offences in close relationships
The course was good she thinks and mentions that one has received, for example, a lot of know-how about how to critically examine how social work is evaluated.
“We have learnt a lot but there are some things that could be improved and the university could put them into practice.”
A concrete example she mentions is the structured threat and risk assessments that the police have worked with for a long time and that they use in the social services more frequently nowadays. One has not been informed about such skills and methods.
Klara with her background also thinks there is an absence of focus on crime in close relationships. She finds this is lacking on all degree courses, for lawyers social workers and even on this course.
“Crime in close relationships is a public health issue that needs to be examined more thoroughly,” she says.
Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo: Klara Persson/Sveriges Radio