The knife attack in Turku last week could cause government to re-evaluate defence spending during next week’s state budget evaluation, reveals Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. According to Sipilä, the government is investigating whether any additional funds should be directed toward domestic security.
Earlier this spring, government funnelled and extra 100 million euros to be divided between the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, the police force, the border guard and the defence force.
Better safe than sorry
In the wake of the shocking attack, which killed two and wounded another eight, Finnish cities have started beefing up security.
Concrete roadblocks and strategically placed trucks have become a common sight at mass events. Police have also increased visibility by having more patrol patrols on site during different events.
“Although there is no concrete threat, we have wanted to pay extra addition to taking precautions,” says Jouni Perttula, Tampere’s Risk Management and Safety Chief.
This summer for example, a picnic event for kindergarten children was secured with guards and additional safety measures.
The city of Turku has combined the forces of different city officials to help combat violent extremism on a local and national level. Last Friday’s deadly attack was a true test for city officials.
Risk Management Chief Heikki Vähäkuopus says the city’s security plan worked: crisis communication was efficient, and information was disseminated to citizens through social media and the city’s website quickly, and different crisis support systems were set up immediately.
“We were prepared to deal with an attack like this,” Vähäkuopus says.
Roadblocks, barriers and social work
Several other cities like Helsinki, Oulu and Kuopio have discussed installing permanent driving barriers.
Jouni Perttula from Tampere stresses that barriers and roadblocks are not enough. Collaboration between different officials is crucial to not only prevent terror attacks, but also manage them in the safest possible way. Perttula says Finns and immigrants alike should be supported in job hunting and finding their place in society.
“There’s no need to press any panic buttons. Life goes on,” Perttula emphasizes.