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Interior Minister Mikkonen: Finland could launch volunteer-based police reserve

Finland would benefit from a reserve police force composed of volunteers, according to Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green).

Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) in the Ykkösaamu studio. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) told Yle on Saturday that there are plans afoot to introduce a voluntary police reserve in Finland.

The ministry is currently producing a preliminary report on the idea. Although the government has not made any decisions on the matter, the report will look at possible numbers, eligibility requirements, powers and responsibility for the possible new force.

"A police reserve composed of volunteers could assist the police in certain limited crisis situations, where there are not enough professional police or other officials," said Mikkonen on Yle's Ykkösaamu programme.

Mikkonen said that these volunteers could be tasked with, for example, guarding important locations. She added that this government has increased the number of police officers to more than 7,500.

"The police reserve would not replace professional police or fill a resource shortage in normal circumstances, but the arrangements would be a preparation for situations where there are exceptional threats to security," clarified Mikkonen.

In the last parliamentary term a proposal for a police reserve failed in a parliamentary committee when questions about constitutional powers were raised.

In her interview, Mikkonen also promised more aid for Ukraine's energy sector, and thanked energy firms for donating transformers and other components.

One shipment left last week, and another is in the works. Mikkonen said that the best way for individuals to help Ukraine is to donate to aid organisations.

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