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Finland halts migrant visits to city’s schools and day care

Officials in Oulu, Finland, no longer want migrants to visit schools and day care centers after an explosive grooming gang scandal rocked the city.

Published: February 3, 2019, 11:04 am

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    “Asylum seekers” participating in the government’s ESIKOTO project were invited for “integration and multiculturalism” visits to such facilities, but Finnish officials have placed a moratorium on the visits.

    Due to a series of investigations into local sex gangs involving children being exploited by adult migrants, the “integration” programme has been put on hold. Oulo police are currently investigating at least 10 cases of sexual assault against girls as young as 10 by migrant men who recently arrived in Finland as “asylum seekers”.

    “We have agreed with the organisers that no such visits will take place currently,” said Mika Penttilä, Oulu’s Head of Education and Cultural Services. Penttilä, who also serves as head of the Oulu City Immigration Steering Group, told Finnish broadcaster YLE: “People have approached us about these visits to find out whether they pose a security risk.”

    He said: “The project really ended last year. We have now informed our partners that we are not taking asylum seekers when this is the situation.”

    Deputy Police Chief Arto Karnaranta told YLE that sex offenses in Oulu have risen by 20 percent from 2017 to 2018, with foreigners being over-represented in sexual crimes.

    According to Karnaranta, young boys could be subjected to the same abuse as well.

    Investigative British journalist Katie Hopkins visited the country last month. “I am frightened for the children of Finland,” Hopkins tweeted during her visit. “Finnish bureaucrats have their heads in the sand, pretending they don’t have a grooming gang problem, delivering no action whatsoever. The State broadcaster YLE News did not air our interview.”

    Law enforcement has urged parents to be vigilant of their children’s social media activity as it is believed that is how offenders are reaching their victims.

    Swedish media reported that the “foreign pedophile wave in Finland” was spreading further, after the police in the capital Helsinki also arrested several immigrants suspected of rape and child abuse.

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