MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to Mika Mäkinen, sexual harassment itself is not a new phenomenon in Finland but harassment of individuals by a group of people may become something the country has never faced before.
"The police department of Helsinki is currently gathering the information so that they would have more to say on whether we would have a new phenomenon of this kind in Finland or not," Mäkinen said.
He added that police would come up with "some report or statement regarding this topic" in the next weeks.
Similar assaults were reported in other European countries on New Year's Eve. Hundreds of women in Cologne were reportedly robbed, threatened and sexually assaulted by small groups of aggressive men, allegedly mostly of Arab and North African origin. Several similar incidents were reported on the same day in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin.
Europe is struggling to find a solution to the large refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and refuge in Europe. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.55 million illegal border crossings in 2015.