The National Police Board of Finland has said that police departments will be forced to lay off staff if the government does not allocate more funds for law enforcement in next year’s budget. In a press release published on Tuesday, the board stated that the police budget for 2022 is 35–40 million euros less than what was expected.
The Ministry of Finance published its budget proposal for 2022 on Friday. According to the board, there will be a severe deficit in police funding next year unless the situation is addressed during the upcoming budget debate in September.
Representatives claim that under the proposed framework, police will likely not have enough resources to maintain their current level of activity. The board estimates that savings of 35–40 million euros would amount to a reduction of at least 450 man-years (the annual workload of one full-time employee).
It has allegedly started mapping out measures to adjust to the proposed budget cuts. As staff costs make up the bulk of police expenditure, limited funding would likely result in large-scale layoffs and no recruitment. According to Anne Aaltonen, director of administration at the National Police Board, redundancies or temporary layoffs will be implemented only if all other efforts fail.
The press release states that the budget cuts would be reflected in a downsized police presence and increased response times, particularly in sparsely populated areas. Public security, traffic safety and criminal investigations would also be impacted.