The city of Östersund in central Sweden has decided to cancel its participation in Saturday’s Earth Hour because of the increased rape risk when streets are dark.
Earth Hour is an annual event where people turn off electricity for one hour to conserve energy. Östersund usually turns off its street lighting, but has decided to keep it lit due to a spree of sexual assaults.
The city recently told women to not walk the streets alone because their safety couldn’t be guaranteed. (RELATED: Swedish Police Tell Women To Not Go Out Alone Due To Migrant Violence)
“Earth Hour is a good and important arrangement, but this year we chose to keep the streets lit because of the recent events,” county chair AnnSofie Andersson told public broadcaster SVT Wednesday.
Fourteen cases of sexual assault have been reported in Östersund since January. The attacks are carried out by both young immigrant gangs and lone-wolf perpetrators, according to descriptions from the victims.
“We at the police thinks this is very wise and that the city has made a good decision,” said police chief Stephen Jerand told SVT. “Light creates safety and falls in line with our collective efforts to enhance safety during these conditions.”
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