Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Probe body makes 9-point recommendations

Supervision of NGOs necessary to prevent radicalization

15 Jun 2018, 02:36 ( 5 Months ago)

DF Report
The independent investigation team on Thursday submitted its report to Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen on Thursday. Photo Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

An independent investigation team on Thursday submitted its report to Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen with nine recommendations including supervision of the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to prevent terrorist attacks and ensure safety measures.

The team was appointed to complete a safety investigation of the stabbings that took place in Turku on 18 August 2017 that left two dead and eight injured.

Headed by Kai Valonen, Chief Safety Investigator of the Safety Investigation Authority, the committee also recommended that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepare provisions under which the police and healthcare professionals are obliged to disclose information on the identities of victims and their close relatives to providers of psychosocial support in case of accidents and violent crime.

The committee made the nine safety recommendations in order to prevent similar attacks, minimise damages and improve safety in the future, said an official press release.

The recommendations included: the Finnish Immigration Service and the Ministry of Justice ensure that the average total processing time of asylum decisions and appeals lodged against them in administrative courts be shortened from the current average of 1.5 years, the Finnish Immigration Service make use of all reasonable means available to establish the identity and age of asylum seekers, the Ministry of the Interior ensures that an advisory service be established in connection with the Finnish Immigration Service or some third-sector actor, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health explore how the financing, guidance and supervision of NGOs necessary in the prevention of radicalisation should be arranged to enable these organisations to carry out their activities nationwide and on a long-term basis.

It also recommended that the National Police Board and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service should together agree on clear procedures to be followed in the prevention of radicalisation. These procedures should encompass a sufficient amount of observation and trust building among people and communities, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health harmonise their leadership and communication practices in situations involving a number of authorities so that all necessary authorities can and will be actively involved in sudden major incidents, the Ministry of the Interior and the Emergency Response Centre Administration develop new means to quickly warn the population in case of emergencies, the Centre agree with administrative branches on procedures to be followed to secure a smooth and fast flow of situational information from the administrative branches and subordinate agencies to the Government Situation Centre for the purposes of forwarding the information to the state leaders and other administrative branches, and  the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepare provisions under which the police and healthcare professionals are obliged to disclose information on the identities of victims and their close relatives to providers of psychosocial support in case of accidents and violent crime.

The investigation was conducted in accordance with the procedure of the Safety Investigation Authority, and it examined the course of events, their causes and consequences, rescue actions, and actions taken by other authorities.

The investigation team members were Mika Hatakka (PhD in Psychology), Vesa Lind (Chief Physician, Intensive and Intermediate Care Unit), Marja Nyrhinen (Head Coordinator of Immigration Affairs), Olli Ruohomäki (Visiting Senior Fellow), Tarja Wiikinkoski (Director at the Regional State Administrative Agency), and Kari Ylönen (Master of Philosophy). The Head of Communications of the Safety Investigation Authority, Sakari Lauriala, acted as a communication specialist in the team.

In October 2017, the Government appointed an independent investigation team referred to in the Safety Investigation Act to investigate the stabbings that occurred in Turku on 18 August 2017.

The investigation team was tasked with investigating an exceptional event in accordance with the Safety Investigation Act. An exceptional event refers to a very serious event that was not an accident and which resulted in death or that threatened or seriously damaged the basic functions in society.

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