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Crackdown on Kallio drunks unsuccessful

A campaign to clean up the lively Helsinginkatu area in Helsinki’s Kallio district has had little overall impact. Police say alcohol-fuelled trouble continues to disrupt the neighbourhood.

Image: YLE

Additional police patrols have been dispatched to the area over the past few years, and surveillance cameras were installed in some spots.

Police, however, continue to be called in often to deal with rowdy drunks. Community beautification efforts have also had little lasting effect. For example, a refurbished old-fashioned kiosk in the neighbourhood has repeatedly been vandalised.

Police have especially had their eye on the corner of Helsinginkatu and Fleminginkatu. Inebriated individuals flock to the site, where fights break out throughout the day. The booze-soaked area is also a breeding ground for various types of illicit activity.

Halfway houses, needle exchange points and numerous bars contribute to the area’s restless atmosphere, according to police.

”Cameras are in place around the city and no one can watch them all the time,” says police lieutenant Pauli Åkerla, adding that police must maintain a visible presence in the area to make a difference.

Kallio has more than any other district in Helsinki had a reputation as a bohemian area. Kallio was traditionally inhabited by working-class families, but today the most typical residents are young adults and elderly people.

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