THIS POST WAS UPDATED
If the comments and actions of politicians and the police service in 2015 are any indication of what we’ll expect this year, then asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities will see another shameful year of hostility and violence. On Saturday, a detective chief inspector of southern Finland, Markku Tuominen, was quoted as saying that Finns should avoid contact with foreigners and today the police service of Häme welcomed street patrols in the town of Asikkala, according to Hämeen Kaiku.
Isn’t it the job of the police service to provide security to everyone? Aren’t they the ones that have to patrol our streets? Why did the police service of Häme give the green light to Asikkalan-Turva, an association, to patrol the streets of the town located 133km north of Helsinki and near the city of Lahti?
The street patrols by Asikkalan-Turva are being carried out in a town where an asylum reception center was already the target of an unsuccessful arson attack in December.
Considering the number of reception centers that have been attacked since September it’s odd that the police of Häme don’t show too much concern for the security of the asylum seekers.
Finland appears to be today in a hysteric spiral of fear-mongering and scapegoating where the police service appears to be part of the problem, not the solution. By being part of the problem the police risk losing more credibility in the eyes of migrants and minorities in this country.
Giving the green light to street patrols without explaining what is the political ideology of these groups shows that the police is biased and take the side of those that want to make the life for asylum seekers in this country as difficult and insecure as possible.
Far right former MP James Hirvisaari, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, praised the police’s stance.
“Great!” Hirvisaari wrote on his Facebook wall according to Hämeen Kaiku. “We can all be proud of the Häme police.”
Proud? In my book, that would be called shameful.