The number of female police officers in European police forces is increasing

Police in Estonia, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden and Latvia are above or close to 30 per cent, according to the study, which reflects data from different police forces in 19 European Union countries.

The data are taken from the research the Institute carried out in 2012 as part of the ‘Facts and Figures of Women in Police Services’ project, which updated the analysis carried out in 2008 by the European Network of Women Police.

The research shows that European police forces do not generally provide quotas for places reserved for women at the entry stage of the force, nor do they develop specific recruitment policies, even though in some cases the requirements can be adapted to women’s physical conditions.

Countries such as Finland and Denmark are pioneers in the incorporation of women into police organisations. Still, it was not until the second half of the 20th century that their presence became widespread in the other European countries participating in the study.

The presence of women is increasing, but in the higher ranks, it is still in the minority and very unequal, as is the case of the top category, where the average is 15.4%.