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Tuesday's papers: Finland's safest cities, bugs for lunch and seasonal time change

Little street crime in Lappeenranta, a plan to offer insects for lunch and the end to summer and winter times.

Lappeenranta
Lappeenranta has been ranked Finland's safest city. Image: Yle

Lappeenranta is Finland’s safest city, writes daily Helsingin Sanomat, followed by Espoo and Kouvola.

The paper ranked the country’s 15 largest cities based on a street safety index, which included the number of muggings, robberies, drunk driving incidents and vandalism. However, manslaughter and sexual assault were excluded from the statistics because such crimes tend to take place in private residences, HS said.

Lappeenranta – a city of 72,000 inhabitants on the southeastern border – also topped the index in the previous two years.

”Ours is an international and tolerant city and it’s part of our Karelian character to be social and welcoming,” said Lappeenranta mayor Kimmo Jarva. “We get thousands of Russian visitors every year and more than 70 different nationalities are represented at our university,” Jarva added.

In addition, there are no neighbourhoods in Lappeenranta where crime or social problems are more prevalent than in others, HS writes. “In this regard, city planning has been quite successful,” said chief inspector Jukka Lankinen of Lappeenranta police.

Street safety in all of Finland’s cities has improved in the past decade, including Helsinki, which held the bottom spot in the survey, HS said. According to the police, the capital has several shopping and entertainment centres that draw people from across the country and many large events take place in Helsinki every year. These factors contribute to Helsinki’s low position in the ranking.

“For example, Espoo residents go to Helsinki to party, and crimes committed by them have a negative effect on Helsinki’s figures,” said chief superintendent Marko Savolainen from the National Police Board.

Insects for lunch

Schools, daycares and senior care centres in Jyväskylä may offer food made of insects and seaweed in a few years’ time, tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports.

A catering group that prepares more than 23,000 meals every day for the city’s public sector plans to serve meat only once a week by 2026. Protein from meat would be replaced by insects, pulled oats, seaweed, quinoa and wild herbs like nettle. However, fish and eggs would be offered as usual.

The manager of catering group Kylän Kattaus, Tuija Sinisalo, said some children in Jyväskylä have already had a chance to taste bread made of powdered insects. “There was no outright rejection. The kids were rather interested.”

According to Sinisalo, testing of insect-based foods is expected to spread to more customers in 2021. “We’ll start the tests among children and young people, whereas any radical changes to the diets of senior citizens are likely to be very minor,” Sinisalo said.

The company’s strategy is to serve domestic, healthy and nutritious food. “But of course at the same time we also need to think what customers want. For example, we would like as many children as possible to eat lunch at school,” she added.

Two more years of clock change

The hope among many people in Finland to finally be done with the biannual rite of turning clocks may happen in 2021, daily Turun Sanomat writes. The Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament approved the proposal to end switching between summer and winter time in a vote on Monday.

For those countries that decide to permanently keep their summer time, the clock change on the last Sunday in March 2021 should be the last one, the committee said. Meanwhile, EU member states that prefer to keep their standard time, also known as ‘winter time’, could change the clocks for the last time on the last Sunday in October 2021.

The next step is for the full European Parliament to accept the proposal this spring, TS writes.

At the end of last year, the EU Commission – on Finland’s initiative – proposed ending the practice of daylight saving time. However Finland cannot decide to abolish daylight savings time on its own, as any change on the matter requires a decision at the EU level.

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