Police submitted almost 500 child welfare notifications during street enforcement theme week

Publication date 12.6.2024 13.16
News item
Two uniformed persons.

Police departments carried out an intensified street and substance abuse enforcement operation during the end-of-school week. Young people under the age of 18 in particular were a target group in the operation

During the week the school year ends, young people traditionally gather in large numbers, and gatherings are often associated with substance abuse and the attendant phenomena that come with them. The enforcement opera-tion was mainly carried out through visible surveillance by intervening in the use and possession of all intoxicants.

As previously reported by local police, young people’s end-of-school week-end celebrations went well for the most part. During the weekend enforce-ment operation, a total of 1,168 litres of alcohol, almost a quarter less than in 2023, were disposed of. Of that amount, around 200 litres were spirits, whereas the majority were milder drinks such as beer and cider.

People unfortunately often had bladed weapons

Police observations indicate that nowadays young people are unfortunately also often in the possession of bladed weapons or other objects capable of harming others. Some bladed weapons were found over the weekend and a total of 16 reminders were written.

A total of 482 child welfare notifications were submitted during the week-long enforcement operation.

- In the previous decade, the number of child welfare notifications was still as high as 700-1 200 during the same enforcement period. This year's figure shows a very modest increase of 40 compared to the previous year, and for-tunately there has been no return to the figures seen years ago, says Chief Superintendent Tuomo Korhonen at the National Police Board of Finland.

Minors also suspected of narcotics offences

During the entire week of enforcement, a total of 140 suspected narcotics-related offences of varying degrees were recorded, with underage young people accounting for 19 of these offences. Cannabis and amphetamines were the most common narcotics seized by the police. 

- This year, the enforcement operation at the end-of-school weekend focused on children under the age of 18, and the aim was to carry out mainly visible surveillance. This explains the halving of the number of narcotics offences detected compared to last year, considers Chief Superintendent Tuomo Korhonen at the National Police Board of Finland.

- From the aspect of public order and security, it’s important to show that the police are there to protect citizens, while at the same time dealing with of-fences. This maintains trust in the police and, at best, acts as a deterrent, Sjöblom says.

Guardians are responsible for children and young people

In many areas, the enforcement operation was carried out together with youth and social services and the Regional State Administrative Agency. The statistics could look much worse without effective and smooth coopera-tion between the authorities. The majority of guardians also acted correctly and picked up their weary young people at the request of the police.

- It cannot be emphasised too highly that responsibility for children and young people and their actions always lies with their guardians, Korhonen says. 

A total of 341 persons under the age of 18, 64 of whom were under the age of 15, were found guilty of offences during the week the school year ended. 

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