Police in the Northern Swedish city of Ostersund have issued a warning to single women not to venture out alone after dark following a spate of violent attacks. Nine cases were reported in less than three weeks. The police have faced strong criticism for the recommendation — popular TV criminologist Leif GW Persson called the move “unusually stupid” on his weekly crime show on Tuesday evening, and Ann-Sofie Andersson, Ostersund’s mayor, said police should have discussed the warning with her before issuing it at a press conference on Monday afternoon. “The solution can never be to not go out because of such a warning. We have very many women who work in home and social care at night for example. What are they supposed to do?” Andersson said in an interview with state broadcaster SVT. But after another attack was reported on Tuesday, local police chief Stephen Jerand told SVT he thought that the warning, though highly unusual, had been justified.
Anders Ygeman, Swedish interior minister, said Tuesday that the government was considering meeting police demands for increased funding in order to deal with growing dangers on the street. Sweden has dealt with multiple high-profile reports of newly arrived immigrants sexually assaulting and groping women this year, beginning in January when police in Stockholm admitted they’d covered up mass allegations of abuse by asylum seekers at a music festival in the summer.
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