Raising an alert solely because they’ve allowed thousands of Muslims into the country and have no way for sure in telling which one will reconnect with their inner Mohamed (the prototype post-hijra Muslim) and carry out an attack.

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Finnish police raise alert levels in response to Berlin tragedy

The Finnish Police have raised emergency preparedness levels in response to an apparent attack Monday on unsuspecting Christmas market-goers in West Berlin, Germany. An increased police presence is particularly noticeable around the country’s embassies and at the Helsinki Airport. After the 2015 Paris attacks, plainclothes policemen have joined their uniformed colleagues in carrying weapons in Finland.

Poliisin virka-ase vyöllä.

Image: Enja Heikkilä / Yle

Finnish Police have enhanced their emergency preparedness after recent events.

The murder of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara Monday had an immediate effect in Helsinki, as police security around the Russian and Turkish embassies was enhanced.

The ‘presumed terrorist attack’, as described by German Police, that took at least 12 lives in Berlin on the same day has also caused police in Finland to reappraise threat levels and enhance preparedness.

“The police have updated our contingency and operative plans, and stepped up our emergency preparedness levels accordingly,” National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen told the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle on Tuesday.

More cops, more threat assessments

When asked what the higher alert means in practice, Kolehmainen replied:

“We’ve got more uniformed and plainclothes patrols on the move, and we have beefed up our intelligence and information gathering. The increase will be most visible, for example, at the airport and other places where many people congregate. We are conducting various threat assessments that determine how we should allocate our resources.”

Already last year, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Finnish plainclothes police officers began to wear their police-issue weapons during their beat.

“We intensified our weapons use to include plainclothes police within the scope of officers carrying a weapon during work hours,” the commissioner said.

Beefed up presence at upcoming New Year celebrations

Finland is preparing to celebrate its 100-year anniversary of independence next year with many events, the first of which will be a grand fireworks display in the Helsinki city centre on New Year’s Eve. The police estimate that up to 10,000 people will attend.

Kolehmainen says Finnish residents should rest easy about participating.

“The public can be confident that the authorities are doing their best to maintain security. I see no reason why people shouldn’t take part in large events.”

New Years is always a busy night for the Finnish police. This year, the New Year’s Eve celebration has been transferred from its traditional Senate Square venue to Citizens’ Square, between the Music House and the Kiasma Museum.

“The Police naturally allocate more resources for New Year’s Eve. [This year] the operative plans will mirror the new threat levels and intelligence information. As we gain more information, this could have an effect on the work of the police on New Year’s Eve,” says Kolehmainen.

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