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Home NATIONALProposal to shorten police remand draws flak
Thu, 25 Aug, 2016 12:10:20 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Aug 25

A government proposal to shorten the remand period of detainees in police custody has sparked criticism. 

An evaluation has pointed out a number of dangers resulting from faster transfer of detainees remanded in police custody to the Criminal Sanction Agency.

Several police stations have speculated that the change could prolong and weaken preliminary investigations and would also worsen the percentage of crimes solved. 

“Yes, it would make preliminary investigations more difficult and there is no way that it cannot affect the length of investigations,” said National Police Board Superintendent Heikki Lausmaa, adding that “Especially in larger investigations involving multiple detainees or suspects, it may require more manpower and that in turn could affect the outcome of the investigation or the case.” 

According the government proposal, detainees should not be remanded in police custody for more than seven days without specific and pressing reasons.

At the moment, the maximum remand period is four weeks. According to the Ministry of Justice, the average detainment time is currently around two weeks. 

Detainees’ conditions and legal assistance is in the midst of being upgraded due to complaints lodged by parliamentary legal experts and additionally because Finland has repeatedly received serious criticism from international anti-torture organisations.

The criticisms are levelled because, for instance, the scope for the detainees of being outside is not up to the standard within the police premises, and also the fact that investigating officials should not be allowed to hold detainees. 

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