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Security checks at the Finnish Immigration Service would complement the current security measures

Ministry of the Interior 23.1.2018 12.05
Press release 6/2018

A new act on security measures at the Finnish Immigration Service is currently being prepared. The act would lay down provisions on the powers of security inspectors carrying out security tasks in the premises of the Finnish Immigration Service. By conducting security checks on people who enter the premises, it would be possible to protect those working at the Finnish Immigration Service against various risks, to ensure safe working conditions and to protect the property of the Finnish Immigration Service.

In a changing security environment, the authorities exercising public powers must pay more attention to security aspects. For this reason, it is necessary to take further measures to secure the premises and operation of the Finnish Immigration Service, too.

The Ministry of the Interior sent the government proposal for an act on security measures at the Finnish Immigration Service for comments on 23 January.

Taking proactive measures to address potential security threats

The Finnish Immigration Service has used private security services but the guards have not been authorised to conduct security checks on people who enter the premises. They have only been allowed to conduct security checks in situations that pose a threat. The proposed legislation would complement the current ways of preparing for security threats.

The act would make it possible to inspect people entering the premises of the Finnish Immigration Service, together with their belongings, in order to ensure that they are not carrying any objects or substances that could endanger order or security or that could be used to damage property. Similar legislation is already in place to secure the operation of Parliament, the Government and courts.

Those conducting security checks must have appropriate training and be approved by the police

A police officer, a border guard or a person employed by the Finnish Immigration Service who is trained for the task could act as a security inspector. Security checks could also be carried out by a police-approved person who is appropriately trained for the task. In practice, security checks would be outsourced, and they would be conducted by people working in the private security sector.

The powers laid down in the act would make it possible to check the identity of people entering the premises, conduct a security check or a non-intimate body search, take possession of objects, prevent people from entering the premises, remove people from the premises and apprehend people.

Act would improve the occupational safety of personnel at the Finnish Immigration Office

Security threats against public authorities and premises have increased in Finland in recent years. Security threats have also been detected in the daily work of the Finnish Immigration Service, particularly in connection with asylum interviews, and the personnel have not always felt safe at work.

The act is scheduled to enter into force as soon as possible.

More information about the project (in Finnish)

Inquiries:

Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 215, jorma.kantola@intermin.fi