Rainer Hiltunen, Ombudsman for Minorities head of office, told Migrant Tales that talks have taken place with the Finnish police to draft new guidelines and more effective monitoring to ensure that ethnic profiling doesn’t happen. The new guidelines are expected to be in force in 2013.
The Ombudsman for Minorities office expressed concern in spring about higher-than-average complaints from foreigners that they were being indiscriminately stopped by the police for spot checks.
Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen confirmed in April that the Finnish police doesn’t ethnically profile anyone.
Foreigners are sometimes stopped in Finland by the police when looking for undocumented immigrants, according to Räsänen.
“One of the problems [concerning ethnic profiling] is that when the police stop a person, they sometimes forget to tell them clearly why they have been stopped,” he said. “Better monitoring of the police in this respect is crucial to discourage ethnic profiling from happening.”
The Ombudsman for Minorities official saw England as a good example for the Finnish police to follow.
“The Stephen Lawrence case is a good case in point that shows how institutional racism can undermine the effectiveness of the Metropolitan Police of London,” he said.