Finnish police ordered not to speak of asylum seeker crime

Monday, January 28, 2019
By Paul Martin

27 January 2019

Häme Police Department personnel received internal communications instructions on police information related to the current situation of asylum seekers.

The six-page guidance signed by the Police Chief and the Communications Officer of the Department has raised a lively discussion among staff in the facility. Many experienced police consider it exceptional.

Discussion has been raised by a daily police newsletter that “not mention the status of the suspect as an asylum seeker when reporting offenses”.

New regulations are also justified in the Communication Guidelines. Communication aims to promote security and social peace. Communication also aims to strengthen trust in police activities and to prevent radicalisation and racist phenomena.

The instruction reminds the police not to take sides. Asylum seekers should be treated neutrally, impartially and objectively.

The guidelines have also been extended to private, free-time discussions: “Police officers must, in accordance with their role, duties and behavioral responsibilities, treat asylum seekers in a neutral manner also in their personal leisure activities.”

The guidelines also cover the risks associated with the current situation: radicalisation of the population or asylum seekers, the spread of racism and the erosion of public order and security.

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