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Rain puts a damper on schoolkids' end-of-year festivities

Police said there has been a steady decline in disruptive behaviour in Helsinki during end-of-academic-year celebrations.

Oluttölkkejä Esplanadin puistossa Helsingissä lauantai-iltana ensimmäinen kesäkuuta 2019. Poliisiauto taustalla.
Police on patrol as young people stroll along central Helsinki's Esplanade. Image: Janne Lindroos / Yle

Heavy rains in many parts of the country served to curb the exuberance of traditional festivities to mark the end of the academic year and the start of the summer vacation, according to police officials.

Inspector Katja Nissinen of the Helsinki police department said that the city centre had been unusually calm and that traditional party spots such as the Hietaniemi beach and Kaivopuisto had been virtually empty during Saturday evening and well into the night.

"This time there were groups of young people out and about mainly in the city’s eastern and northern suburbs," she told Yle.

Nissinen added that overall, the evening passed or rather peacefully. She noted that there were some inebriated young people among the crowds but that there were no reports of serious clashes. Some of the youngsters found to be under the influence were taken home, while police disposed of alcohol that they confiscated from underage drinkers.

"It seems that every year the partying has become more restrained," Nissinen remarked.

"End-of-school celebrations have passed off mostly peacefully and disturbances have been decreasing from year to year. Well done! However as a final reminder tonight: If your friend is in bad shape, get help immediately and call 112," police commented on Twitter.

26 cases of alcohol poisoning in Helsinki

Emergency service workers also said that the situation in Helsinki was subdued and that young people out partying did not cause an increase in emergency calls. They noted however that there were 26 cases of alcohol poisoning logged during the night. At the same time the number of first aid cases was lower than during the average 24-hour period.

The Itä-Uusimaa police department noted that about 150 school kids had gathered at recreational facilities at Vantaa’s Kuusijärvi lake. Meanwhile Central Finland police said that in spite of the rainy weather on Saturday night, large groups of youngsters had gathered at the outdoor area in Pyynikki, Tampere.

Officials and volunteers were on hand to assist several of the revellers, while a few were taken into custody to sober up. However they reported that the area was empty before midnight.

Southwest Finland police said that in Turku, inclement weather had put a damper on celebrations by local school children. However they noted that more persistent merrymakers made their way to the Uittamo beach, a popular spot for young people in the area. Turku emergency services also noted that the end of the academic year did not cause any additional tasks for them.

Officials in Oulu reported large groups of young people out on the streets, with many gathering at the local market square as well as at Kiikelinranta beach, however their merrymaking was peaceful.

"The cool air and brisk wind likely affected the number of revellers," senior constable Petri Puranen of the Oulu police department commented around 3.00am on Sunday.

By midnight, Oulu police had issued 12 fines, mainly related to the consumption of alcohol by minors.

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