The Swedish police are getting worse when gangsters cunning the suburbs. In Finland, the situation has been blocked by mixing housing types and cooperation between the authorities.
– Help us! Please help us! We need to get the municipalities involved, summoning Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Dan Eliasson at a June press conference to municipal representatives to help the police cope with maintaining order in the country’s troubled neighborhoods.
After the event, several editorial editors and politicians demanded that the Swedish Chief of Police, who is responsible for the Finnish Police Chief, is different from his job, as the police apparently lost their grip on criminals in the suburbs.
However, Eliasson was given a job. And work for him is enough.
The Swedish police have identified as many as 61 No go zone areas of which 23 are classified as “particularly problematic residential areas” (S). They are in large and medium-sized cities in southern and central Sweden.
These areas are characterized by high levels of unemployment, high crime, citizens’ suspicion of society and misery, and intermittent violence. Cars are back, ambulances are afraid to drive, police cars are stoned and the media are threatened. According to the police, the territories have become “coexisting” by the criminal gangs.
Local residents often claim that violence and vandalism is only intermittent and that the likelihood of being subjected to street violence is greater, for example, in the center of Stockholm on evenings and weekends.
“There are no areas in Finland where the police would not dare go”
But is there a problematic residential area in Finland? What does the Finnish police say about the fact that the highest ranking police officer calls for help from their fellow officers and ambassadors?
Police Inspector Pekka Heikkinen of the Police Department says that there are no areas in Finland where the police would not dare to serve.
– Of course we also have challenging and difficult tasks. But they are then prepared in a way that is related to police tactical know-how and strategic behavior.
The appeal of the Swedish police service to other authorities seems to me to be justified by Pekka Heikkinen.
– We here also have long traditions in Finland, especially in cooperation with police and social services, and the police themselves have a desire to expand it. Now that we have become immigrants, we want to make local relationships with them as well. The police are a kind of coordinator here.
One important reason for the peace of the suburbs in Finland is, according to the police, that the authorities want to deal with the cause and effect relationships of the problem and not only deal with acute problems.
– It may be that, for example, social work or child welfare can handle the situation. Likewise, even if somewhere in the suburbs a youth troupe makes vice or punches, the more space it is given, the more serious the acts will change. Early this is being addressed, not just the police but also the other authorities and, at best, the local people, “Pekka Heikkinen says.
Laitakaupunki has domestic violence, in the center of street violence
Superintendent Jari Taponen and Commissioner Katja Nissinen from Helsinki police will pick up Ylä’s journalist and photographer Maija and head towards Kontula in eastern Helsinki. Kontula is probably one of the worst suburbs in the Helsinki metropolitan area. However, the change in the more comfortable direction has been striking.
– 15 years ago this time in the day here would have been calamitous. Now they do not show up. On the other hand, one of the reasons for the tranquility is that the pots have disappeared and restaurants have been replaced. It has raised this shop’s profile a lot.
Local resident Tuire Messo says he is not afraid to go to the center of Kontula in the evening.
– I’m wondering when I need to go here tonight. If you need it, then I do not have to go in front of the cups or in the middle of the stacks. I walk briskly the way that I planned to take. Whenever I survived. This is really the ideal place to live, as long as this unnecessary frustration is obtained.
Jari Taponen tells that police duties in the suburbs and in the center areas are very different from each other.
– In the village where people live, there is domestic violence. In the center of the street there is alcohol-related street violence. If you think of where people feel insecurity, they are usually places where people move a lot. Train and Metro Stations and Shopping Centers. There is alcohol in the evening and weekend.
80 per cent of the police for incidents of violence are those in which either the perpetrator or the victim are under the influence of alcohol.
The police prevent problems by getting to the residents
We also get a bit of a feel for Kontula’s shabby side when in the middle of our rush we are getting a suspected drug dealer. The person is an old man familiar with the police.
– The starting point is that we know the inhabitants and actors of the area. For example, in this Kontula shopping center, you need to know the entrepreneurs and people moving around here. In that case, their everyday concerns will come to our attention, for example, by some harasser. We get in good shape and when we know these guys, we can talk to them immediately, Jari Taponen describes.
Apart from this preventive citizen, the Helsinki police cooperate closely with various organizations and other authorities.
– We are constantly mapping the situation. We know that Helsinki has also gone a bit in a bad direction, for example in the segregation of residential areas. We have here the so-called Safe Helsinki Network, where the situation is monitored with particular care. We wondered what to do if the bad development continues. And when talking about smaller local problems, the police call local actors together and try to solve the problems together.
Although the situation in the Finnish suburbs now seems quite bright, Jari Taponen urges us to remain vigilant in the future. It is estimated that in ten years Helsinki will grow to 100,000 inhabitants.
– Most of them are foreign-speaking people. Foreigners are getting very poorly employed. We must make every effort to get involved in Helsinki or Finland. There must be enough jobs to find. In Housing Policy, it should be noted that no disadvantage can be accumulated. This requires specific measures.
The most important reason for a good situation is the residential housing stock
According to the police, the most important reason why the situation in the Finnish suburbs has not been able to get away to the Swedish suburbs is that different areas have been built for each area since the beginning. City rental homes, hard cash rentals and hitas rentals can fit into the same areas in a delightful twist. In this way, the different layers of society are mixed together.
Tero Santaoja, the head of the Urban Environment Department of the City of Helsinki, takes us to visit Jakomäki, which he considers to be the most challenging area in Helsinki at this time. There is also a lot of positive developments here, and more are coming. He knows what he is talking about because he has been pulling the city project for over six years in Helsinki.
– We have developed parks, markets, residences and social co-operation. It has also been noted that supplementary construction has been carried out in order to get new residents.
According to Santaoja, supplementary construction is important not only because new types of housing are provided, but also because the development of services requires a sufficiently large population base. Sufficient services, in turn, are required to allow residents to stay in the area.
Jakomäki’s heart is emerging behind Jakomäki’s shopping center. Jakomäki’s center is completely redesigned by dismantling poorly-serviced service buildings and by building new residential areas most likely to be located. Recreational areas will also be improved.
Superintendent Jari Taponen says that the actual problems are not in Finland, but problems in each area can be related, for example, to a certain housing company, a dwelling or a restricted area. It will be proven in Jakomäki.
At one corner of the mall, dozens of hustle and bustle of fish are seduced by street guns, Behind the corner on the other side of the shopping center, Sanna Sundberg sells strawberries with complete suspicion of handshake.
– Jakomäki has such a reputation that it would be pretty unrestricted. Yes, yes, there has been a really cool party.
The insecurity experience is based on Tero Santaoja, the city of Helsinki.
– Vague spaces, rubbish, poor lighting, a dull concrete environment, in fact, affect the experience of insecurity.
Tero Santa does not believe that such negative development in the suburbs as Sweden could also be Finland’s future.
– After all, the situation in Sweden is worrying. We can learn it, and in principle it is not possible in Finland.