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The police should improve their guidelines for preventing child abductions

Deputy-Ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja is of the opinion that the National Police Board should assess the need for national guidelines for action in situations where children have been abducted. 

The Deputy-Ombudsman was prompted to adopt a stance on the matter by a complaint sent to the Ombudsman. In it, the police were criticised for their action in a case where the complainant suspected his wife would abduct children to Russia. In the complainant's assessment, the actions of the police and the advice they had given had contributed to the children's abduction.

In the Deputy-Ombudsman's view, the police did not give the suspected child abduction sufficient attention. In addition, handling of the situation had to depend on the advice given by one police officer.

Several Acts contain provisions designed to prevent child abductions. However, applying them can be difficult in urgent situations. In addition, there are practical problems associated with cooperation between different authorities.

The National Police Board must report, by 30.8.2013, on what measures the situation may call for.