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Friday's papers: Birth rate low, sex crime stats, Aarnio charges hold, seven false IDs

Papers in Finland offer a range of news this Friday. Dailies go into reports of immigrant women having more babies, Interior Minister Paula Risikko calling for an investigation into the percentage of rape cases solved by police, ex-cop Aarnio's rap sheet and a man with an illegal identity crisis.

Paula Risikko.
Interior Minister Paula Risikko is calling for an investigation into why rapes are solved so infrequently. Image: Yle

Finland's dailies offer scattered coverage of various news this Friday, with Tampere region paper Aamulehti leading with news of the country's continued declining birth rate.

Overall the rate fell by some 2,300 infants in a single year, a statistically significant drop. In 2015 a total of 55,000 children were born in Finland, compared with 60,000 seven years previously.

An Aamulehti sub-heading dramatically claims that the "last [person]" will be born in Finland in 2067 if the current declining trend continues.

"That isn't going to happen," professor Mika Gissler from the Institute for Health and Welfare reassured readers. "More than 50,000 children will continue to be born each year. But if the birth rate does continue to fall then the only response is to increase immigration."

Afghan women have 2.7 children on average in Finland, whereas the average among Finnish women is just 1.7 children. Immigrants from Somalia have the most children, AL says, at more than 4 children on average.

Researchers are surprised at the ongoing drop, as a country's birth rate tends to rise in times of challenging economic straits. But Gissler tells Aamulehti he is optimistic.

"I think this year families might dare to start having kids again, turning the rates upward."

Rape case gap, Trevoc appeal denied

Meanwhile in national top paper Helsingin Sanomat Paula Risikko, Minister of the Interior, is quoted as saying that the wild differences between the rates of solved sexual assault cases in police districts must be investigated.

On Thursday HS published figures on the rates at which police departments across Finland have successfully solved and prosecuted cases of rape. The differences in statistics among the top ten departments fluctuated from Oulu's 85.4 percent to Lahti's meagre 49.3 percent – meaning that in Lahti less than half of reported rape cases are even resolved.

Risikko calls the 36.1 percent gap "enormous".

"I have asked the National Police Board to investigate and minimise these discrepancies," she says in the newspaper. "This is also an issue of legal protection."

In other crime-related news, the Supreme Court has denied the appeal of drug boss and ex-police chief Jari Aarnio. HS reports that the court found Aarnio's misdeeds to be "exceedingly serious, destructive and organised."

Aarnio was found to have had decision-making power and a vested financial interest in Trevoc, a monitoring device company, while simultaneously being in charge of purchasing monitoring equipment for the Helsinki police.

Aarnio and his accomplices must pay out tens of thousands of euros in damages to the police department and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service.

The eighth man

Finally tabloid Ilta-Sanomat writes about a special case of fraud that came up last August, when a Belarusian man entered and soon attempted to leave Finland using false identification.

The 33-year-old man, whose given name is Andrei, had been issued an entry ban into the Schengen area in April, 2014. During the three-year ban the man used a total of eight different identities, leaving only his first name unchanged.

He was caught and fined 300 euros on attempting to leave Finland via the Vaalimaa border control station.

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