Court order: Stores prohibited to protect themselves - Protection makes the city look like a criminal ghetto

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The Red Cross are prohibited to protect its store and office from heavy crime, by putting up aluminium shutters to cover windows and doors, after a court decision. The reason is, it will make the city look like it has problems with heavy crime. Protection from heavy crime is not as important as keeping the facade.

The local Red Cross office in the Swedish city of Malmö have had major problems with heavy crime like burglary, vandalism, graffiti and drug dealers dealing just outside the office, where they help out poor and needy people.

At first they tried to hire a expensive security company for protection, but it didn't help at all.

- We even call the police every week, but they do not show up every time says Kerstin Larsson, chairman at the local Red Cross office in Malmö to Swedish media SR.

She adds that a lot of money that should have go to helping out poor and needy people, have instead gone to expensive security measures, which jeopardises their whole operation.

So the Red Cross came up with the cheaper and more effective solution, to install aluminium shutters to cover up all the windows and doors.

But the local ruling politicians said no to this solution and the Court ruled in their favor against the Red Cross. Because the local political establishment consider aluminium shutters make the city, and especially bad neighborhoods, look like criminal ghettos. They apparently consider it to be more important to keep a image of the bad neighborhoods as there were no problems with heavy crime at all, then letting stores and offices protect themselves.

"We are quite restrictive with shutters especially in environments where there is insecurity problems", says local governing politician Karolina Forest from the Green Party.

According to Kerstin Larsson it has cost them already $10000 and she adds:

"Every penny we spend on this, we pick from other activities both in Malmö, rest of the country and internationally"