Four stations in the metro in Stockholm have been marked red for ticket inspectors and security guards. Only with the help of a police officer, can they perform their jobs at the stations Rinkeby, Tensta, Rissne and Hjulsta. Four crime-ridden suburbs where emergency vehicles often are attacked by gangs of criminal immigrants.

“We are often numerically inferior and exposed to threats and rocks being thrown at us,” says a security guard.

SL Security Center makes ongoing safety assessments of the situation in the subway. Collaboration takes place between operators, police, ticket inspectors and security guards.

The stations are divided into the colours green (normal safety mode), yellow (elevated security mode) and red (rare safety mode).

The color gradation is not static but can be changed when ever deemed necessary. In the case of red color, ticket inspectors and security guards are not allowed to perform their jobs without the police’s presence for their own own safety.

The stations Rinkeby and Tensta are constantly marked red, but also Rissne and Hjulsta are occasionally put in code red mode.

– Already unsafe places are turning more unsafe. It is a symbol of a society where development is going in the wrong direction. Enough is enough, says Kristoffer Tamsons, Traffic Advisory Council (M), who long pleaded for the reintroduction of metro police, with New York as a role model.

A security guard working from the city of Stockholm and north along the tunnel’s Blue Line testifies to an unsafe and dangerous work environment:

– You can not work normally at these red-flagged stations. I have never feared my life, but have fallen into situations where personal safety has been threatened. There has been a threat of violence, stone throwing and even damaged cars, he says.

The security guard is grateful for the police support:

“We are two people in a patrol and easily end up in numerical disadvantage. You have to be mentally prepared at work, even in the event of easier problems, he says.

The security guards, carrying batons and handcuffs, can give reprimands and even physically take care of people temporarily.

The Järva metro station has, according to the police, become a site for illegal drug trade.

“We have had over 700 reported drug offenses so far this year. Most are taken near the metro, says Christoffer Bohman.

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