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Gordon Grattidge

Sweden’s ambulance chief slams dangerous immigrant no-go zones

The president of Sweden's ambulance union says there are now areas in Sweden where even they “don’t want to be in”.

Published: March 3, 2017, 12:46 pm

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    Stockholm

    The areas populated by immigrants, have become too dangerous for medical staff. No-go zones have grown to over 50 such areas across Sweden last year.

    The chief of Swedens Ambulance Association ALARM, Gordon Grattidge told Swedish DGS TV enhanced security for his personnel was no longer an option when working in heavily populated immigration neighbourhoods.

    Since 2015 Sweden has seen a sharp rise in grenade attacks and incidents, almost exclusively attributed to gang wars. “It’s too dangerous to enter” areas in Sweden where “majority of the people are immigrants,” Grattidge said in an interview with a Swedish journalist.

    Speaking from “own experience,” as well as “reports from other parties,” Grattidge said escalating immigrant violence “definitely” poses a growing threat to first responders. The ambulance chief said medical rescue workers now need “special” military-grade equipment to enter such areas even though they may be accustomed to “dangerous situations” from time to time.

    In order to protect paramedics on emergency calls, the union has asked for military-grade equipment for their workers, DGS TV reported. They need “special equipment to be able to go with the police into dangerous situations,” Grattidge said.

    While the police are equipped to resist violence, ambulance workers have to “work with lighter protection in the form of body armor and helmets,” according to Grattidge

    “We can be prevented from entering, we may be blocked from getting out. Our vehicles can be attacked, and we personally can be exposed to physical violence,” he explained. Such attacks from such groups “of up to 30 people” occur “about once a week,” forcing responders “to retreat and wait for the police”.

    He confirmed that “areas with large groups of violent people” have become a “constant concern” for Swedish ambulance workers, because not only do they throw stones, he said, but “hand grenades have been thrown at police”.

    “It’s an unpleasant environment no one wants to be in,” said Grattidge, who has been recently reappointed to lead the Ambulance Association for the next two years. “There is fear [among ambulance workers] resulting in illness, sick leave and job termination,” he added.

    “I know the subject of ‘no go zones’ is sensitive and controversial, but for us it really is a no go because we have directives not to put our staff into dangerous situations… We are supposed to get personal protection from the police when we enter these areas,” he said. Such “no-go zones where primarily migrants live… are increasing in numbers,” Gattidge added.

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