HELSINKI, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- In Oulu, northern Finland, police are investigating four new cases of sex crimes against girls under 15 years old, according to the police.
The police confirmed the detention of three men of foreign extraction as suspects. The crimes took place during the summer of 2018.
One of the victims has died, police told local newspaper Kaleva, but added there was no crime attached to the death.
The newly-announced crimes were the latest among a series of similar cases in the northern city. Late last year, Oulu police detained seven men for abuse of minor-aged girls. One suspect had left Finland and was arrested in Germany in early January.
Oulu police is further investigating the role of four other foreign men in cases of sexual abuse. Girls between 12 and 15 had been approached in social media and promised tobacco and alcohol if they visit the men.
Following the cases published on Friday, Prime Minister Juha Sipila issued a statement on the official government internet service. He noted that already the earlier cases aroused in him a sense of loathing. He said he understands the concern and shock by citizens.
He said the asylum system's task is to help those in plight, but "it cannot protect criminals". He noted that legislation is being changed to make it easier to expel foreigners guilty of aggravated crimes. In his New Year's Eve statement, Sipila also took up the situation in Oulu.
The racial relations in Oulu have become tense in the wake of the continued reporting about sexual abuse.
Senior police officer Markus Kiiskinen told Helsingin Sanomat that police have noticed the change in atmosphere. No violence against foreigners has been reported, but they have been "pushed" in the streets.
Kiiskinen said that purposefully wrong information is being spread in social media. The windows of the local mosque were crashed in December 2018, for the second time in the year.
"Groundless disapproval has been targeting people that have nothing to do with the incidents," he said.
Kiiskinen noted that perhaps due to the atmosphere, asylum seekers are no longer seen sitting around in the leading shopping mall. "Earlier it was their regular hangout."