Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Friday as the National Police Board released its crime statistics for last year.The number of sex crimes reported to law enforcement authorities crept up marginally in Finland in 2015, Seppo Kolehmainen, the National Police Commissioner, revealed in a news conference on Friday.

The number of reported sex crimes increased in comparison to the previous year by 2.7 per cent to 3,102 and that of rapes by 3.7 per cent to 1,063. Reports of child sexual abuse contrastively decreased by 12.7 per cent year-on-year, Kolehmainen highlighted.

The National Police Board also revealed that asylum seekers were suspected in a total of 12 cases of aggravated rape, 13 cases of rape and 22 cases of sexual harassment in all of last year. “Asylum seekers were suspected in a total of some two dozen cases of rape. The share is relatively low as the total number of rapes [reported to police] was slightly over 1,000 in 2015,” reminded Tommi Reen, a chief superintendent at the National Police Board.

He estimated that the phenomenon is attributable to the fact that most of asylum seekers are young men.

The National Police Board also issued a press release to shed light specifically on the incidence of offences committed by foreign nationals, acknowledging that “the number of offences allegedly committed by foreigners has increased notably from the previous year in certain types of criminal offences”.

Foreign nationals, for example, were suspected in a total of 3,986 cases of assault and 217 cases of rape, signalling year-on-year increases of 24.4 and 20.6 per cent respectively.

More than one-half of the foreign nationals who were suspected of offences in 2015 were not permanent residents of Finland, according to the National Police Board.

Kolehmainen underscored that all asylum seekers should not be branded because of a small group of wrongdoers and pointed out that, overall, the sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers has had no significant impact on crime statistics. He also revealed that the suspects in the sexual harassment cases dating back to New Year's Eve also include other foreigners besides asylum seekers.

The National Police Commissioner also expressed his concerns about changes in the operational environment of law enforcement authorities. On the other hand, he estimated that the authorities have performed their duties well under the circumstances and re-gained control of the security situation after changes caused primarily by the entry of roughly 32,000 asylum seekers to the country.

The downsizing of the police organisation must end, he added.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi