A police van parked outside Valkea Shopping Centre in Oulu on 6 December 2018. The local police has pleaded with the public not to harass or threaten people who appear to be of foreign origin. (Credit: Timo Heikkala – Lehtikuva)

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POLICE are investigating four new sex crimes against under 15-year-old girls in Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland.

Oulu Police Department on Friday reported that three men of foreign backgrounds have been brought into custody for probable cause of rape, aggravated child sexual abuse and child sexual abuse in connection with the pre-trial investigations.

Two of the four suspects tied to the new cases are under 18 years old, according to a press release from Oulu Police Department.

Reports of suspected serious sex crimes against children devastated the roughly 200,000-resident city located on the Bay of Bothnia in December.

Oulu Police Department revealed at the time it has launched pre-trial investigations into a total of five, apparently unrelated cases in which underage girls are believed to have been raped and sexually abused by men of foreign backgrounds. A total of 10 people have been detained as part of the investigations, most of them on suspicion of aggravated rape and aggravated child sexual abuse.

In some of the cases, the suspects are believed to have groomed their victims on social media.

Police also urged the public not to take the law into their own hands despite the strong feelings and grievance understandably stirred up by the suspected sex crimes against children, reminding that any resources spent on investigating offences against people of foreign backgrounds will reduce the resources available for investigating the sex crimes.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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