The number of criminal offences decreased in Finland in 2019 compared to the previous year. Crimes fell in most of its forms. However, there are some types of crime that have increased, for the concern of citizens and authorities, such as sexual abuse (also against minors), fraud and property crimes.
According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, a total of 447,400 offences against the Criminal Code were recorded by the police, customs and border guard in the course of 2019, which is 3,900 cases (1%) more than in 2018. In total, there were 213,200 offences against property, which is 3% more. And altogether 4.5% more rapes were recorded.
A large majority of the reported offences against the Criminal Code (438,700) were recorded by the police, which is 1% more than during 2018. The customs recorded 6,300 offences and other 2,400 offences were recorded by the border guard (-8.5%).
Less homicides and assaults
Assault offences numbered 33,500 during 2019, which is 0.4% fewer than in 2018. A total of 1,600 aggravated assaults were recorded (-1%). The recorded number of offences against life was 75, which is 10 cases fewer than in 2018. Attempted homicides numbered 322, which is 33 cases fewer than in the year before.
Altogether, 1,455 rapes were recorded, which is 62 cases (4.5%) more than in 2018. The recorded number of sexual abuses of a child was 1,796, which is 30.8% more than in the year before.
The act on aggravated rape of a child entered into force on 15 April 2019. Thirty-five cases of aggravated rape of a child have been reported.
In addition, 1,105 other sexual offences were reported. Of them, 519 were cases of sexual harassment, which is seven cases (1.4%) more than in 2018.
Statistics Finland explains that during the 2010s, most cases of sexual abuses of a child have been recorded in the second quarter of 2013. Then 612 cases of sexual abuse of a child were reported.
The recorded numbers of rapes and sexual abuses of a child reported to the authorities vary much yearly. Individual reports of an offence may include a series of incidents comprising several criminal acts.
Frauds, robberies and thefts
During 2019, a total of 213,200 offences against property were recorded, which is 6,300 (3%) more than in the previous year. And there were 28,000 cases of frauds, which is good 14% more. Among them, there were 2,000 cases of aggravated frauds (+18%).
The number of robberies recorded was 1,800, which is slightly over 7% more than during 2018. Of robberies, 354 were aggravated. A total of 125,700 theft offences (thefts, petty thefts and aggravated thefts) were reported, which is 2,900 cases (good 2%) more than in 2018.
Aggravated thefts numbered 2,800 (-7%). The recorded number of break-ins into houses and free-time residences was nearly 4,600 (-8%). Altogether, 47,200 thefts and petty thefts from shops were recorded, which is close on 4% more than in the year before. Compared with 2009, the number of thefts and petty thefts from shops has fallen by 15%.
Drunken driving and narcotics
The recorded number of drunken driving was 18,600 in 2019, which is 2% down from 2018. Good one-third of the recorded drunken driving cases (6,800) were aggravated drunken driving, which is close on 6% lower than in 2018.
However, basic drunken driving cases increased by 0.4%. Around 60% those cases were caused by the use of narcotic substances.
The number of narcotics offences recorded was 31,300, which is up by good 7% on the year before. The number of aggravated narcotics offences was 1,500, up by over 17%.
During 2019, a total of 3,900 cases of identity theft were recorded, which is good 100 cases (3%) more than in 2018.
Source: Statistics Finland.