PPA: Estonia does not need vigilante groups ({{commentsTotal}})

Soldiers of Odin
Soldiers of Odin Source: (Minna Aula/YLE)

Estonia has no need for self-proclaimed law enforcement groups like the Soldiers of Odin in Finland patroling the streets of towns, the police said.

“We have the police that can protect our people, so there is no need for vigilante groups here in Estonia,” Valter Pärn from the Police and Border Guard Board told ERR on Sunday.

The Finnish media recently reported that the so-called Soldiers of Odin who purport to protect the native population from immigrants, has expanded to Estonia, where it functions as a unit of the group's founding Kemi branch.

As of Sunday, the Soldiers of Odin Estonia Facebook page had more than 3,000 members.

Pärn said there have been no offenses by asylum seekers or refugees that should raise concern. There is, however, a possibility that anti-immigrant vigilante groups could cause anxiety instead of desired stability.

“Their proclamations may be high-minded but in some situations things may still get out of control and cause harm to both parties – the squad-members and the individuals from whom they are trying to protect their loved ones or others,” Pärn warned.

The police stresses that there are better ways people can contribute to the security of their family, friends and the Estonian society as a whole. The best option is to become an assistant police officer.

All citizens can ask to join the police force on voluntary basis, pass the necessary courses and legally patrol the streets, Pärn said.