Assaults took place at Helsinki’s central train station; New Year’s Eve sex assaults also reported in Zurich
Finnish police reported Thursday an unusually high level of sexual harassment in Helsinki on New Year’s Eve and said they had been tipped off about plans by groups of asylum seekers to sexually harass women.
Helsinki deputy police chief Ilkka Koskimaki told AFP: “There hasn’t been this kind of harassment on previous New Year’s Eves or other occasions for that matter… This is a completely new phenomenon in Helsinki.”
Security guards hired to patrol the city on New Year’s Eve told police there had been “widespread sexual harassment” at a central square where around 20,000 people had gathered for celebrations.
Three sexual assaults allegedly took place at Helsinki’s central railway station on New Year’s Eve, where around 1,000 mostly Iraqi asylum seekers had converged.
“Police have… received information about three cases of sexual assault, of which two have been filed as complaints,” Helsinki police said in a statement.
“The suspects were asylum seekers. The three were caught and taken into custody on the spot,” Helsinki deputy police chief Ilkka Koskimaki told AFP.