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Minors among hundreds suspected of drug-related offences during Blockfest

Most of the 200 crime reports from Tampere city centre over the weekend were related to the hip-hop festival.

Tampereella järjestetty Blockfest työllisti poliisia lauantaina. Kuva perjantai-illalta.
Most of the suspected crimes were drug offences. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Police officers in the southern Finnish city of Tampere were kept busy over this past weekend as the annual hip-hop music and cultural festival Blockfest took place in and around Ratina stadium in the centre of the city.

More than 200 crime reports were recorded over the course of the weekend from the central Tampere area, of which about 160 were directly linked to the Blockfest event, a figure which police say is remarkably high when compared to previous events in the city.

Most of the suspected crimes were drug-related, and almost all were committed near the festival grounds. According to the Central Finland police department, they recorded two serious drug offenses, as well as 22 offences involving the sale of drugs and 103 incidents of drug abuse.

Twenty-one of the suspected offenders were minors.

In addition to narcotics offences, police recorded a number of other suspected crimes including aggravated assault, assault, possession of a dangerous weapon, a minor firearm offence, and an aviation violation, among others.

Furthermore, dozens of minors were taken into custody by police after allegedly attempting to barge into the venue, apparently to avoid paying.

Ratina, Asap Rocky, Blockfest
American rapper A$AP Rocky performed at Blockfest on Friday night. Image: Jussi Mankkinen / Yle

The two-day festival also marked the second performance by American rapper A$AP Rocky since he received a suspended prison sentence in Sweden for an assault committed in Stockholm city centre on June 30. The musician's conviction was not popular with the Tampere crowd, as chants of "F*** Sweden" were heard between songs.

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