Police officers Sanna Matsson, Peter Moberg and Stephen Jerand at the press conference. Photo: Peter Söderlund/Sveriges Radio.
Police officers Sanna Matsson, Peter Moberg and Stephen Jerand at the press conference. Photo: Peter Söderlund/Sveriges Radio. Credit: Peter Söderlund/Sveriges Radio.

Police criticised for sex attack warning

Wrong to ask women to change behaviour, says politician
1:09 min

After a series of serious sexual attacks, police in a northern city have taken the unusual step of warning women to avoid being out alone in the centre of town at night.

"It is very serious, as it concerns gross violence", says police officer Sanna Matsson at the seious crimes unit, to Swedish Radio P4 Jämtland.
During the last two weeks there have been six attacks against women and girls reported in the city of Östersund, almost all outside, apart from one in a bus shelter.

But the police's action has been criticized. Social Democrat councilor Ann Sofie Andersson says to SVT Jämtland that such a warning can never be a solution, and fails to think of the effect on the many women who work in healthcare at night.

And the justice spokesman for the small opposition Center Party, Johan Hedin, says it is never right to ask people to change their behavior to adapt to criminal's behavior.

There is a suspect currently held for one of the assaults, reports SVT.
So far police do not know whether there is a connection between the attacks.

They are devoting extra resources to the case, and appealing for witnesses, including a man with a dog who interrupted one of the assaults.

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