Östersund, Sweden, is the type of place where you leave your doors unlocked and you walk about the streets at night without a worry.
Things are changing in the small town in northern Sweden, and police are now warning residents, especially women, not to walk alone at night.
As Gates of Vienna reports, “Everything has changed since the arrival of ‘refugees’ at asylum centers that are popping up like mushrooms all over the Swedish landscape, even in the most rural areas.”
Since mid-February, six violent crimes – including rape and attempted rape – have been committed by men of “foreign appearance” against women out alone at night in Östersund.
Sweden, with a population of 10 million, welcomed nearly 163,000 migrants and refugees in 2015, more than any other European nation on a per capita basis.
Police say they have never seen anything like it. They are advising women to stay at home at night, and walk in groups if they must go out.
At a televised press conference Monday, police said they “have never seen anything like it in Östersund,” a small town in the north of Sweden with a population of just 45,000.
While there have been assaults in the past, they usually involve drunken men fighting each other. These incidents are different, police chief Stephen Jerand told Sveriges Television.
Watch the televised news conference in Sweden in which police warn women not to leave their homes alone.
These attacks involve up to three male assailants who target a lone woman, and the perpetrators are always sober, Jerand noted.
“In two other cases, it has been individuals. What is also curious is that none of the perpetrators have been intoxicated,” he said. “According to our knowledge, they have been completely sober, which is also odd.”
A reporter asks the police chief if there have been similar incidents in Östersund.
“No, there haven’t been,” he replies.
“There have obviously been some cases over the years, but it is normally drunken men fighting with each other and stuff like that. This is something new. Here is women who are the target. A number of them over a short period of time.”
Not only are the attacks focused on lone women, but in each case the victim has not known her attacker, describing them only as foreign in the way they look or by their accent.
The police chief said he would prefer not to put out such a warning, but he has been forced to admit that his department does not have the numbers to protect the women of Östersund.
One woman was attacked on her way to work at 11 p.m. “So it’s not just in the bar environment,” Jerand said.
He said the assaults have been “very violent,” and he is concerned that they could end “in something much worse than attempted rape.”
The most recent assault took place early Sunday morning, when a woman was attacked by three young men in central Östersund in a case of attempted rape.
She was brought to the ground by three unknown men shortly after 1 a.m., after which the men tried to rip her trousers off, but the woman fought back and managed to escape, the Daily Mail reported.
The perpetrators have been described as “tall, slim, aged 18-25 and speaking Swedish with a foreign accent.”
Just a few hours later, police received another report of a lone woman being attacked by a young man in the same neighborhood in central Östersund.
A police report states that an unknown man in his late 20s “whose appearance was described as foreign” attacked the woman without provocation. The man had reportedly walked up to her and punched her in the face with his fist, then thrown her to the ground, pushing her head into the asphalt, before running off.
Police also highlighted an additional four cases in the past two weeks, including a lone woman assaulted by three men, and a report of a group of 10-year-old girls being harassed by men in central Ostersund.
WND reported earlier this week on the rape crisis in Sweden and how the media have attempted to cover up the fact that the vast majority of cases have involved Muslim migrants.
The televised warning has been a source of controversy in Östersund, with many arguing that women should not be advised by their government to “adapt” to migrant abusers.
“I am averse to the solution being to tell women and children to sit at home. That can never be the solution for us,” local government commissioner AnnSofie Andersson told Sveriges Radio.
Sweden imposed compulsory border-control ID checks in January to try to curb the influx of migrants.
Europe is facing its biggest wave of immigration since World War II, with millions migrating from the Middle East and North Africa fleeing war and economic deprivation. Germany has already taken in more than 1 million asylum seekers, and Chancellor Angela Merkel is feeling the political pressure to turn off the spigot. She met with Turkish leaders recently to ask them to shut off the flow of migrants from refugee camps in Turkey.