Investigations into 15 our of the 16 sex crimes reported to law enforcement authorities in the wake of the celebrations in Helsinki on New Year's Eve have been suspended or called off at the request of the complainant, reveals Teija Koskenmäki-Karaharju, the detective chief inspector in charge of the investigations at Helsinki Police Department.
“If the target of sexual harassment is an adult, it is a complainant offence. If they decide not to demand a penalty, the case will be closed,” she explains in an interview with Uusi Suomi.
Roughly a half of the 15 investigations have been suspended and the other half shut down at the request of the complainant, she reveals.
“Some of the investigations have been suspended, meaning that the suspect has not been identified,” Koskenmäki-Karaharju says. “If we're able to determine the identity of the suspect later, we can re-open the investigations.”
“Investigations have also been suspended because we haven't been able to identify the injured party – as is the case in some of the investigations.”
Some of the criminal reports were filed by bystanders.
“Police asked the injured parties to come forward after the events. We would've especially liked to have determined the identity of the victim in a case of attempted rape. We were unable to do so, unfortunately, and the investigation was suspended,” tells Koskenmäki-Karaharju.
Helsinki Police Department estimated in its summary of the events on New Year's Eve that the sexual harassment cases represent a new phenomenon in Finland. The investigators remain of the same opinion after looking more closely into the cases.
“Some of the criminal reports highlight what has previously been unusual in Finland – a larger group of people harassing a single victim,” says Koskenmäki-Karaharju.
She revealed to YLE on Wednesday that two or three of the criminal reports refer to a group of perpetrators and the others to a single perpetrator.
Koskenmäki-Karaharju reminds to Uusi Suomi that law enforcement authorities have also obtained information about the phenomenon through channels other than the criminal reports.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Aku Häyrynen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi