Skip to content
The article is more than 7 years old

Police brief migrants on customs

Police have had to teach asylum-seekers about Finnish law and social customs, including issues such as trespassing on people's property. Migrants have not caused a significant spike in policework in South-West Finland.

Image: Yle

16 criminal cases involving an asylum-seeker perpetrator were reported in South-West Finland in November. Police are staying mum on the nature of the crimes.

Migrant backgrounds have been inluded in criminal reports since early November.

South-West Finland's chief inspector Juha Junkkari says that the high number of asylum-seekers has caused some additional filed reports and investigations.

"There are many asylum-seekers in our jurisdiction so of course it will show up in the amount of work we have to do," Junkkari says. "But I wouldn't call the additional work an actual spike."

Police must know the score

Police have received complaints about instances such as breaches of domestic peace. Junkkari says that asylum-seekers have passed through private yards, causing alarm.

"The migrants have not been aware of the definition of trespassing. It's up to the police to inform them of what is allowed and what officials will respond to. We are doing our part to help them integrate into society and learn our rules," he says.

Not all reports lead to a criminal investigation. Junkkari says it is important that asylum-seeker statuses can now be included in charges.

"Circumstances have changed quite a bit this year and especially this last quarter. Police need to know how the changed situation affects their work."

Anti-immigration action has also kept police busy.

Kotka tops sex crime stats

Sexual crimes committed by people with foreign backgrounds have been widely discussed by the media in recent days.

Police recorded more than 90 sex crimes last year, 8.4 percent of whose perpetrators were of foreign extraction.

The Kotka police station shows statistics of 25 percent of sex criminals being from abroad.

"It's likely that an increased proportion of foreigners now also exist as citizens. That's all I can think of as an explanation," Junkkari says.

Women harrassed

Last week the South-West Finland police said it would take further action against sexual harrassment of women perpetrated by asylum-seekers in the region.

"We strive to tackle the problem in a pre-emptive sense in the whole area," says Kari Hyyryläinen from the regional police. "We've received a steady stream of reports on women being harrassed."

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia

Minister of Employment Arto Satonen (NCP) expressed confidence that the economy will return to growth by the time the government's planned reforms take effect.