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Prosecutor General investigates uniformed cop who shared semi-nude selfies

The incident came to the attention of police in southeast Finland at the beginning of this year.

File photo of the Southeastern Finland Police Department in Kotka. Image: Antti-Jussi Korhonen / Yle

Finland's Prosecutor General has opened an investigation into a police officer's sharing of semi-nude selfies while wearing a police uniform about seven years ago.

The officer, who works at the Southeastern Finland Police Department, was seen wearing a police uniform in the photographs, which were shared around 2014-2015.

Police Chief Ari Karvonen said the department first became aware of the photos — which are currently in its possession — in early 2022.

"This is by no means acceptable behaviour by a police officer. It's a question of maintaining public confidence. People need to be able to trust that the police carry out all of their official duties in an appropriate manner," Karvonen said about the incident.

Possible repercussions

The Southeastern Finland Police Department is awaiting a decision from the Prosecutor General before taking disciplinary action with the officer. Karvonen said the department would be handling the matter in civil proceedings.

The officer, who will also be interviewed during the course of the investigation, potentially faces a reprimand, warning, suspension from duty or dismissal from the police force.

Karvonen said the incident was problematic not only due to the taking and sharing of the photos, but also because the officer was seen wearing a uniform in them.

Finland's laws about the use of police uniforms are quite specific, as they can only be worn by officers while on the job.

For example, the use of uniforms in TV programmes requires special permission from a local police department, on an individual basis.