Swedish Police Urge Women to Reconsider 'How to Behave' Following Series of Rapes
4 sex attacks in 4 days in Uppsala, Sweden prompt warning from authorities
Swedish police are urging women to reconsider "how to behave" while out in public following a series of rapes in Uppsala, Sweden, according to reports.
Authorities have issued the troubling warning after four sex attacks were reported in four days in the eastern central Swedish city.
On Monday, police were called to investigate after a young girl had been raped during the night in a park in Uppsala, Swedish newspaper Expressen reports.
This latest incident meant there had been three "completed rapes and one attempted rape" in the space of four days, says Linda Winge, the region's police commander.
Police spokesperson Mikael Hedström issued a warning to the public, saying that "perpetrators are looking for solitary men and women."
"Women in town should not be worried but must think about how to behave," Hedström warns.
In the latest attack, police were alerted by several people who heard a woman scream for help.
Investigators say they don’t believe a serial rapist is operating, and are therefore investigating the incidents as separate attacks.
No descriptions of the suspected perpetrators have been published by police.
The police are urging women to reconsider their habits, to avoid walking alone in alleyways or parks and to consider walking the streets with other people.
Some Swedes say they are already changing their behavior because of the unsafe situation in the country.
Carolina Tuula, a student in Uppsala, says she used to feel safe going home at night as a girl, but with the recent attacks, she feels far less secure.
"I even bought a self-defense spray yesterday," she told Expressen.
"I'll have it in my hand when I go home myself. If something should happen, you are always prepared,” she says.
Police are now urging women - and men - to think for a second time and be cautious with how they behave.
Perpetrators seek out lonely men and women, so it’s important how one acts when outside, according to the police.
They advise women not to go out alone, to always be around others and to stick to well-lit streets.
Ideally, women should avoid walking through the city at all in the evening and at night, Hedström suggests.
If they must go out, they should travel by car.
When Expressen asks if women should be forced to change their behavior, Hedström argues that police cannot be in all places at the same time.
However, police say the tips given for women to avoid being raped can also be used by men to help reduce the risk of them being targetted for street robbery.