Swedish PM Stefan Löfven slams attacks on police and emergency services: ‘Don’t touch our heroes’

Swedish PM Stefan Löfven slams attacks on police and emergency services: 'Don't touch our heroes'
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking at the Järva politics week. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pledged to step up the fight against drug gangs in vulnerable areas in Sweden in a speech at the Järva Week political forum in the north-western Stockholm suburb.

The Social Democrat leader's speech was held on the final day of the week, which has seen daily speeches from Sweden's party leaders. Löfven started his by promising tougher measures on crime, targeting among other things the drug trade in many of those areas classified as vulnerable in Sweden.

He said criminals should be treated for drug addiction by the Prison and Probation Services.

“And there have to be consequences for those who don't accept treatment,” he said.

LONG-READ: No-go zone? Here's how one of Malmö's roughest areas edged out its drug gangs

Stefan Löfven speaking to journalists. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Löfven also said it should be easier for the police to install CCTV surveillance cameras in key spots to clamp down on the drug trade and other crimes, a increasingly heated debate in Sweden.

“Everyone should be able to be in the squares and walk home from the metro without being scared.”

He spoke at a newly-launched politics week at the Järva field, which is surrounded by suburbs part of the national police's list of vulnerable areas, such as Rinkeby and Tensta, which have struggled with incidents of car burnings and youth gangs throwing rocks at police and emergency services.

Löfven promised tough punishments for those who attack police, fire services or ambulance staff. “Don't touch our heroes,” he said to applause from the audience.

READ ALSO: 'Especially vulnerable areas' increase in Sweden

Löfven chatting to children before his speech at the Järva Week. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

He also spoke about gender equality, after some high-profile feminists in Sweden argued that attempts to limit women's freedom had been allowed to go unchecked in segregated suburbs. “When I get reports that there are self-proclaimed 'moral policemen' who try to decide where women are allowed to be, how they should dress and how they should live, about oppression and violence in the name of honour by fathers, brothers and male relatives, I get furious,” he said.”

Two silent protests were carried out during the speech. One against Sweden's deportation of under-18 refugees and another protesting the deportations of professionals, a debate which started last year after several workers had their work permit renewal application rejected due to technicalities.

READ ALSO: Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson speaks at the Järva Week

Organizer Ahmed Abdirahman. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

According to the organizers of the Järva Week, around 2500 people turned up on Sunday, record attendance after what has largely been lukewarm public interest in the Nordic country's new politics festival, inspired by the annual Almedalen Week held every summer on the island of Gotland.

But the Järva politics week will return next year, said its founder Ahmed Abdirahman.

“I think it has gone amazingly well. We haven't promised more than to create conditions for groups of people to meet. How people use that is up to themselves. When the politicians have won the trust of the citizens here more people will come,” Abdirahman told the TT news agency.