Police urge calm after Oulu child sex attack revelations

Officers issue a warning to parents about possible attempts at online grooming by foreign men of young girls.

File picture of police vans / Credit: @suomenpoliisi Instagram

National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen has called for composure and for people to respect the rule of law as police in Oulu investigate a string of suspected sex crimes against young girls.

The plea comes after officers detained seven foreign-born men in connection with allegations that three girls aged between 10 and 15-years old were sexually abused or raped over a period of several months between June and October in the northern city.

Police are looking for an eighth suspect in connection with the case.

“Understandably the serious abuse of a minor in Oulu upsets people, yet it is worth preserving composure […] Police are investigating these acts and will bring the perpetrators to legal account for their actions” writes the Interior Ministry Twitter account.

According to police, most of the men are aged between 20 and 30, with one being older than that. They come from four foreign countries, and while some are Finnish citizens, some have refugee status or in the process of getting their citizenship.

Online grooming warnings

On Tuesday, Oulu Police issued a warning for parents to be alert for possible online grooming actions.

“Recently, in the Oulu region, cases have emerged that foreign-born, often non-Finnish men have attracted minors to get in contact with them. At worst, contacts have led to serious sexual offenses” says a police statement.

Police say parents need to be aware of who their children are spending time with online, or in their leisure time. They’re calling on parents with any suspicions or concerns to contact local officers.