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Police Board classifies report on monitoring of Roma community

Helsinki police department kept a record of the movements of members the Finnish Roma community in the metropolitan area.

Poliisi. 22.4.2021.
Image: Jorge Gonzalez / Yle

The National Police Board has refused media requests for copies of an internal report on a record by Helsinki police of the movements of members of the Finnish Roma community.

Yle reported earlier this month that over the course of several years, the Helsinki police department kept a record of the movements of members the Finnish Roma community in the Helsinki metropolitan area, taking note of vehicles owned by Roma people and the social circles in which they moved.

Log entries also included other information, such as knives or other weapons found in a person's possession.

At the time of the first report of the logging activities, Deputy Police Chief of the Helsinki Police Department, Heikki Kopperoinen denied that this was ethnic profiling of the Finnish Roma community.

The National Police Board has responded to requests for media access to a report by the Helsinki police department on the subject by saying that its contents are classified under the terms of the Openness of Government Activities Act.

According to Kopperoinen, the use of the logbook was discussed by department heads when he took over as deputy police chief in the summer of 2017. They decided to discontinue use of the logbook, and police no longer follow the same procedure.

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