Police in Östersund, Sweden are defending their comments in which they advised women not to walk alone after at least six reports of violence against women in the area since February 20.
“...The police are going out and warning women against travelling alone in the city. We have seen a worrying trend,” regional police chief Stephen Jerand said. “This is serious, we care about the protection of women and that is why we are going out and talking about this.”
Police were also investigating an alleged molestation of a 10-year-old girl at a bus station.
The advice for women to not walk alone was met with criticism.
The city's mayor, Ann-Sofie Andersson, told Swedish TV, “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?”
“We are not limiting anyone's freedom. This is purely factual information. We went out with warnings and some have interpreted this as that we forbid women to be out in town and that's completely wrong,” the police chief told the TT news agency in retaliation for the backlash.