With the arrival of the new year, the Finnish immigration Service (Migri) has decided to strengthen security in all its facilities.
According to an official note recently published in the Migri customer newsletter, starting from 15 January 2019, all the persons who intend to visit the Finnish Immigration Service may be required to undergo a security check. "Everyone who enters the customers facilities must walk through a metal detection gate and have their belongings x-rayed", says the note.
The installation of X-ray and metal detectors is intended to prevent the introduction into the Migri facilities of metal objects such as knifes, firearms or others which are susceptible of being used as a weapon against the people inside. "The purpose of the security checks is to ensure a safe working environment for customers, interpreters, counsels and employees", explains the Finnish Immigration Service.
Migri demands to arrive 15 minutes earlier
Due to the introduction of these controls, Migri recommends all users of their services that if they have an appointment they should try to arrive 15 minutes earlier and be prepared for a security check. "To make the security check as smooth as possible, please take off all items that contain large amounts of metal, such as belts or large pieces of jewellery, and place them on the x-ray conveyor belt for inspection", indicates.
Next, the statement recommends "to make the security check quicker" that visitors bring with them "as few items as possible".
Those who have metal in their bodies, for instance a prosthesis or an artificial joint, should mention this to the security officer when entering the building. Security officers should also be informed in case of having a cardiac pacemaker. Anyone who has a pacemaker card, should bring it too.
MIgri warns that even sequins, metal buttons or wired undergarments may set off an alarm.
Also for babies and little children
Not even the smallest will get rid of having to go through the safety arch. In the case of bringing with you babies or small children, the children must be carried also through the metal detection gate in their parent’s arms. And children’s food and other supplies must be placed on the x-ray conveyor belt.
Migri reminds all the users that they must go through the security system every time they enter the customer facilities. Even those who just take a break outside and return inside will have to go through security again.
The first controls, in Raisio and Pasila
In an initial phase, the first security controls will be conducted in Raisio and at the Ratapihantie building in Pasila, Helsinki. In later stages, security checks will be introduced at other customer facilities of the Finnish Immigration Service as well.
Migri's statement stresses that this is not a security measure installed solely because it is a service that people of foreign origin normally attend. "Similar security checks are already in place in some other government facilities in Finland, such as at the Parliament and the Government and in courts", explains the note.