Sweden, crime, theft, thieves, camping, prevent, SSF Theft Protection Association, advice, Nilsson

Thieves at work on Swedish campsites

Protect yourself from crime on camping breaks in Sweden, a theft protection association advises.

Camping accommodation accounts for almost half of all paid overnight stays in Sweden in July. But the idyllic camping life is not immune to theft, an independent non-profit association warns.

The SSF Theft Prevention Association says it has been “working for a safer society since 1934” and that the profits from its products and services such as padlocks, safes, alarms and waterproof storage, are reinvested in its non-profit crime prevention work.

Caravan burglaries and thefts of wallets or mobile phones on the beach are what holidaymakers should watch out for, it says.

“Generally speaking it is safe to camp in Sweden, but not completely risk free,” it says, adding that last year nearly 900 robberies were reported only from beaches at campsites in Sweden.

Even in the more isolated North Region which has the least number of overnight stays at campsites in Sweden, as many as 60 caravan burglaries were reported between May and September 2017.

Think like a thief
A step beforehand for travellers to “think like a thief” reduces the risk of being exposed to crime, the association says.

“Locks on motor homes and caravans are often easy for thieves to break, so do not store valuables that are visible and park in lit-up places,” says Lina Nilsson, an SSF Theft Prevention Association advisory expert.

Most reports of thefts at Swedish coastal camping sites in 2017 were made to the police in the south (Stockholm 215, East 94, Central 53, North 68).

Thefts on beaches in Sweden that were reported to the police again mainly in the south (South 230, West 167, Bergslagen [central region] 60).

“The rule is to take as few valuables to the beach as possible, and to keep turning around while bathing to watch each other’s things,” Nilsson advises.

She also suggests: “Talk to your fellow campers and help watch each other’s accommodation” and “use waterproof storage for valuables to hang around your neck as you swim”.

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