The police often take a long time to respond to an emergency call in northern Finland. In remote areas the wait is on average even more than an hour.
Juha Ylläsjärvi, who owns a grocery store near the Ylläs ski resort, remembers a situation where he had to wait several hours for the police to arrive.
“I called the police because of a theft. The closest patrol was a hundred kilometers away in Ylitornio, and even they were busy at the time. So, we waited for three and a half hours.”
In the southern Lapland region, in which Ylläs is situated, the average wait is about 17 minutes. While the time is better than the national average, it varies greatly municipality to municipality.
The situation is at its worst in Enontekiö, where patrols are often sent from distant Muonio or Kittilä during emergencies. The average wait there is about one and a half hours. After Enontekiö, the slowest responses are in Muonio, where the average wait is 50 minutes.