National Police Commissioner Acknowledges Juvenile and Gang Crime Challenge in Finland
In recent times, Finland has experienced a significant surge in gang-related crimes, particularly those involving young people. This escalating situation has raised concerns, with the National Police Commissioner, Seppo Kolehmainen, admitting that the country is grappling with a serious issue. The situation has prompted the government to design strategic plans aimed at curbing the rise in youth and gang violence.
Kolehmainen has expressed concerns that Finland could potentially follow the path of its neighboring country, Sweden, where the consequences of gang violence have been devastating. He emphasizes that dealing with gang crime is a societal issue, hence the need for collective responsibility in addressing the problem.
Increasing Police Budget to Combat Gang Crimes
In a bid to address this escalating issue, the Finnish government has proposed an increase in the police force’s budget by over eight percent in the coming year. A significant part of this budget increase is earmarked for combating youth and gang-related crimes. This move demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring the security of its citizens and its dedication to curbing the rising wave of gang violence.
Alongside the budget increase, there is a move to bolster the police force with new recruits. The plan is to fill 500 new positions by the end of the current government term. Despite the high level of respect for the police profession in Finland, there has been a shortage of qualified applicants in recent years. Kolehmainen notes that the police force needs about 500 new students each year, a target last achieved in 2018.
In addition to recruiting new police officers, Kolehmainen also hopes to bring in people with diverse skill sets. He is keen on people with civilian backgrounds, including business scholars, ICT engineers, lawyers, and guards, to join the police administration and investigation teams. This approach aims to handle new challenges and requirements effectively, especially in tackling the evolving nature of gang crimes.
The Role of Society in Combating Gang Violence
While the Finnish police force is gearing up to combat the rising issue of gang violence in the country through increased funding, strategic resource allocation, and diversification of its workforce, Kolehmainen emphasizes that this issue needs a broader societal approach. Dealing with gang violence should not be left to the police alone but should involve active participation and support from the whole society.
The fight against gang violence in Finland is a collective responsibility that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders. As the Finnish government takes strategic steps to address this issue, it is crucial for everyone to understand their role in ensuring a safer society.
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