History – from military police bureau to government agency

The Swedish Security Service, in its present form, was founded on 1 October 1989. The Security Service thereby gained a more independent position and a Director General, although it continued to be a part of the Swedish National Police Board. In addition to its existing remit - the prevention and detection of offences against national security - the Security Service was also given the formal responsibility for security and guarding services relating to the central Government and during state visits and similar events.

Mats Börjesson became the Service´s first Director General. A further five Directors General have headed the Service since:

  • Mats Börjesson, 1 October 1989 to 9 January 1994
  • Anders Eriksson, 10 January 1994 to 27 March 2000
  • Jan Danielson, 28 March 2000 to 1 May 2003
  • Klas Bergenstrand, 15 April 2004 to 21 January 2007
  • Anders Danielsson, 11 June 2007 to 22 April 2012
  • Anders Thornberg, 5 July 2012 -

1914 - 1918: The formation of a Swedish security service

The first Swedish security service was set up in the summer of 1914. For the first time, a special police force was to investigate offences against national security. This force was placed under the General Staff (the predecessor of the Office of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces). Offences against national security were previously investigated by the Detective Police in Stockholm.
 

1918 - 1938: The Police took over and focused on controls in respect of aliens

After WW1, the so-called Police Bureau was dissolved. The responsibility for the prevention and detection of offences against national security was placed with the Stockholm Police Force, and priority was given to controls of aliens. In 1932, this task was transferred to the State Police, where the focus was on controls of Nazis and communists.
 

1938 - 1946: The General Security Service

Faced with the threat of the looming war, work began on the creation of a secret police security service in 1937. Its organisation and staffing were agreed upon on 10 June 1938, but it was not until the German occupation ofNorwayand Denmark that the organisation was given financial resources and personnel. The activities focused mainly on the registration of suspected collaborators sympathizing with the warring parties. Approximately 200,000 letters per week were checked and a total of some 11 million phone calls were intercepted while the war was still on.
 

1946 - 1964: The security service becomes permanent, due to the Cold War

After WW2, the Swedish security service suffered severe cutbacks. Its activities were again placed under the State Police. The organisation was intended to be temporary, as it was thought that there would be no need for a security service in the new Europe .
 
However, due to the onset of the Cold War in the late 1940s, the organisation became permanent.
 

1965 - 1989: A unit under the National Police Board

The Police Service became national in 1965. From that point in time, up until the foundation of the Swedish Security Service, the Security Department of the National Police Board was responsible for the protection of national security.