Police have launched a misdemeanor investigation into a tip they have received that motorcyclists drove around a memorial at Kalevi-Liiva, the execution site of thousands of victims of Nazism, as well as Ubari Nature Reerve in Jõelähtme Municipality last November.
According to Ida-Harju regional police officer Karmo Kaasik, this isn't the first time that bikers have inconsiderately driven around an undesignated area around Kalevi-Liiva, regional paper Harju Elu writes (link in Estonian).
"As the bikers have cited as excuses the fact that they didn't know, and that their passengers have recommended driving around this particular area, then the biker community's awareness needs to be raised," Kaasik said. "Driving around on a property without the owner's permission is not permitted. A nature reserve is likewise not a appropriate place to drive around.
According to State Forest Management Centre (RMK) Ida-Harju County Forest District Forester Andrus Kevvai, the RMK is aware of the issue, however as the Environmental Inspectorate has not been willing to toughen up punishments and bikers themselves aren't coming around, there are no good solutions to the issue.
"We can't lock up the forest, nor can we put up ban signs next to each and every tree, and unfortunately no one be there and stand watch at all times to discipline motorcyclists," Kevvai said. "All we can do is stress increasing people's awareness regarding the need to maintain the dignified peace of the grave, including via the media."
In summer 2017, a meeting was held in Jõelähtme Municipality during which it was agreed that the RMK would install regulatory signs near the Kalevi-Liiva memorial and mass grave drawing attention to the fact that driving on the forest paths there is prohibited. "The signs were installed," Kevvai recalled. "Unfortunately, they have been of little help."
Estonian Jewish community representative and lawyer Alla Jakobson told the paper that the only solution to the problem is to install security cameras and use them to identify the offenders.
Editor: Aili Vahtla