New data from these statistics will be published on the home page of the Statistics on offences and coercive measures.

1. Review on offences recorded by the police, customs and border guard

1.1. Abstract

In 2012, 425,000 offences were recorded by the police, customs and border guard in the whole country, which is seven per cent less than one year before. During ten previous years, the average number of offences recorded was 438,000 per year. Over the year, 255,000 offences were solved, while the corresponding figure was 271,000 one year previously.

The vast majority of the offences were recorded by the police. A total of 14,000 offences were recorded by the customs and border guard, 20 per cent more than one year before. One-quarter of the offences recorded by the customs and border guard were alcohol offences or minor alcohol offences and narcotics offences.

Viewed by region, the number of offences decreased from 2011 to 2012 in all regions. The offences decreased the most in relative terms in Central Ostrobothnia, by 16 per cent.

Figure 1. Offences by region per 10,000 population in 2012

Figure 1. Offences by region per 10,000 population in 2012

1.2. Offences against property

The biggest group of the offences recorded was formed by thefts, petty thefts and aggravated thefts. In all, 139,000 of them were recorded, which is eight per cent less than one year previously. An average of 156,000 theft offences (thefts, petty thefts and aggravated thefts) were reported between 2002 and 2011. The number of thefts recorded in 2012 was 68,000, or 10 per cent less than one year before. The number of aggravated thefts recorded was 3,200. During ten previous years, 2,600 aggravated thefts, on average, were committed per year. Petty thefts numbered 68,000, which is seven per cent less than in the year before.

Figure 2. Offences against property 2012 (In total 237,609 offences)

Figure 2. Offences against property 2012 (In total 237,609 offences)

The number of burglaries reported was 35,000, which is 4,600 cases less than in the previous year. The number of burglaries of motor vehicles recorded was 11,000, which is 22 per cent fewer than one year previously. Breaking into business premises decreased by 12 per cent. The number recorded was now 4,000. From 2002, their number has decreased by 42 per cent. The total number of break-ins into houses went down by six per cent compared with the previous year. In 2012, their number was 6,300, of which 1,500 where break-ins to cottages.

The recorded number of unauthorised uses and thefts of a motor vehicle and thefts of use of a motor vehicle was 8,800, which was approximately one-quarter less than in the year before.

In 2012, 1,200 accounting and debtor offences were recorded, which is five per cent more than in the previous year. Although the number of these offences is good one half of the record figures for 1996, their number has more than doubled from 1991.

The number of frauds was 21,000, which is 18 more than in 2011. Ten years ago, 12,000 frauds were recorded. A total of 6,200 means of payment frauds were committed, the amount has nearly doubled over the past five years.

The number of damages to property was 51,000 per year, on average, during the previous ten-year period. Now 44,000 of them were reported, which is 19 per cent less than in the previous year.

A total of 1,600 robberies were reported, which was at the same level as last year. From 2002 to 2011, the average number of robberies per year has been 1,800.

Table 1. Selected offences against property by region per 10,000 population in 2012

Region Burglaries    Unauthorised
thefts of a
motor
vehicle
Robberies Damages to
property
Embezzlements Frauds,
means of
payment-
frauds
WHOLE COUNTRY 649 163 30 822 61 503
Uusimaa 751 189 42 977 94 583
Varsinais-Suomi 778 279 40 706 56 508
Satakunta 722 146 19 681 44 419
Kanta-Häme 629 118 22 784 29 504
Pirkanmaa 641 142 24 918 44 481
Päijät-Häme 835 203 22 906 65 456
Kymenlaakso 656 163 19 790 44 438
South Karelia 486 138 26 830 42 333
Etelä-Savo 690 155 13 748 40 350
Pohjois-Savo 487 112 17 780 48 316
North Karelia 488 109 13 723 28 457
Central Finland 594 85 25 745 58 458
South Ostrobothnia 340 45 13 544 31 381
Ostrobothnia 433 88 9 784 20 315
Central Ostrobothnia 285 48 10 656 16 239
North Ostrobothnia 592 201 40 654 54 469
Kainuu 394 116 16 832 46 236
Lapland 537 168 27 761 52 384
Åland 497 74 0 776 95 138

1.3. Offences against the person

In 2012, a total of 38,000 assault offences were recorded, which is five per cent less than in the corresponding period of 2011. The law reform that entered into force at the beginning of 2011, increased the number of assault offences recorded in 2011. Over the period 2002 to 2011 an average of 32,000 assault offences were recorded per year. Aggravated assaults decreased by nine per cent compared to the previous year and amounted to 1,900.

Good one-third of assault offences are committed in private dwellings. In one-third of the cases, the scene of the assault is a public place outside business centres and public occasions.

Figure 3. Assault offences by scene in 2012 (In total 38,231 offences)

Figure 3. Assault offences by scene in 2012 (In total 38,231 offences)

The recorded number of offences against life was 89. This was 25 cases less than in 2011. The annual average was 120 for the ten-year period 2002 to 2011. The corresponding figure was 143 between 1992 and 2001. The number of attempted manslaughters, murders or homicides increased from 306 to 350. The average for the previous ten-year period was 340.

In 2012, nearly two-thirds of the offences against life were committed in a private dwelling.

The number of rapes recorded was 1,009, against 1,039 in the previous year. From 2002 to 2011, an average of 710 rapes were reported. The recorded number of sexual exploitations of a child was 1,567, which is 51 per cent (526 cases) more than the annual average for the period 2002 to 2011. The numbers of rapes and sexual exploitations of a child vary much yearly. Individual reports of an offence may include a series of incidents comprising several criminal acts.

Table 2. Selected violent offences by region per 10,000 population in 2012

Region Manslaughter,
murder,
homicide and
their attempts  
Assault Aggravated
assault
Petty
assault
Rape offences
WHOLE COUNTRY 8 470 35 203 19
Uusimaa 9 570 29 231 21
Varsinais-Suomi 3 417 30 234 18
Satakunta 8 425 43 154 11
Kanta-Häme 9 312 34 187 20
Pirkanmaa 5 424 36 193 22
Päijät-Häme 12 418 31 188 11
Kymenlaakso 13 326 29 208 14
South Karelia 6 350 40 189 11
Etelä-Savo 8 407 38 243 17
Pohjois-Savo 11 448 36 294 17
North Karelia 14 356 37 173 16
Central Finland 7 548 44 145 20
South Ostrobothnia 11 385 34 113 13
Ostrobothnia 3 380 39 156 15
Central Ostrobothnia 13 542 29 225 16
North Ostrobothnia 8 478 35 137 21
Kainuu 10 613 50 209 20
Lapland 9 477 52 238 20
Åland 7 423 25 180 11

1.4. Drunken driving and traffic offences

Aggravated drunken driving decreased by nine per cent and other drunken driving by 12 per cent. In all, 19,000 drunken driving offences were recorded, which is 11 per cent less than in 2011. The number of drunken driving offences known to the police was at its lowest in 30 years in 2012. They have fallen by one-third from the 1990 record figures.

Of those suspected of drunken driving, 83 per cent had used alcohol and 14 per cent a narcotic substance as their only intoxicant. The remaining three per cent had used both.

Figure 4. Drunken driving offences in 1980–2012

Figure 4. Drunken driving offences in 1980–2012

In 2012, 435,000 cases of endangerment of traffic safety and traffic infractions were registered, which is 14 per cent lower than one year before. Most of them were infractions found out in connection with police surveillance and guidance. The recorded number of aggravated endangerment of traffic safety was 3,600, which is 12 per cent fewer than in 2011. The police recorded 289,000 cases of exceeding speed limits, which was 14 per cent less than in the year before.

Figure 5. Drunken driving offences by region per 10,000 population in 2012

Figure 5. Drunken driving offences by region per 10,000 population in 2012

1.5. Offences involving intoxicating substances

In all, 20,000 narcotics offences were recorded in 2012, which is one per cent less than in 2011. Aggravated narcotics offences also went down by one per cent to 1,000. During the period 2002 to 2011, the average number of narcotics offences was 16,000 per year.

From 2009, the figures include the offences recorded by the customs and border guard, which increases the number of narcotics offences by about one-tenth compared with narcotics offences known to the police.

Figure 6. Narcotics offences in 2012 (In total 20,102 offences)

Figure 6. Narcotics offences in 2012 (In total 20,102 offences)

In all, 4,600 alcohol offences and minor alcohol offences were recorded. The number was 10 per cent lower than one year previously.

When compiling statistics on offences involving intoxicating substances, offences comprising several criminal acts are entered as one. Offences involving intoxicating substances are such that they are generally found out only as a result of the activity of only the police or customs and border guard officials and the majority of the offences remain undisclosed.

1.6. Solved offences

During 2012, the police, customs and border guard solved a total of 255,000 offences. The clearance rate was 60 per cent, which is one percentage point higher than in the previous year. The corresponding figure was 52 per cent ten years ago. The clearance rate for offences is calculated so that the offences recorded by the police in the statistical reference year and all the offences solved in that same year are compared with each other.

Thirty-eight per cent of offences against property and 78 per cent of offences against life and health were solved.

Among municipalities of over 30,000 inhabitants the clearance rate was the highest in Savonlinna and Lappeenranta, 71 and 69 per cent, respectively, while it was the lowest in Helsinki and Kaarina, 54 per cent in both.

The clearance rate varies by type of offence quite strongly. Due to the manner of disclosure, drunken driving, traffic and offences involving intoxicating substances are almost all solved. Sixty-eight per cent of frauds and 88 per cent of offences against life were solved. The clearance rate is 77 per cent for assault offences.

The clearance rates are the lowest for theft offences (theft, aggravated theft, petty theft), damages to property, means of payment frauds and unauthorised thefts of a motor vehicle. In 2012, one-sixth of thefts were solved. One-quarter of damages to property and one-fifth of means of payment frauds were cleared. One-third of unauthorised thefts of a motor vehicle were solved. Good half of robberies were solved.

Table 3. Clearance rate of certain types of offences in 1986–2012

Offence 1986–1990   1991–1995 1996–2000 2001–2005 2006–2010 2011 2012
ALL OFFENCES 65 51 51 56 61 59 60
Theft 25 17 14 15 18 17 16
Aggravated theft 39 29 40 41 38 34 38
Petty theft 78 70 67 58 57 57 56
Robbery 53 43 42 45 49 49 54
Damages to property 29 27 27 26 25 21 23
Assault 79 74 76 80 81 75 78
Aggravated assault 85 84 83 87 88 85 83
Petty assault 95 86 79 75 73 73 75
Manslaughter, murder or homicide 97 94 90 93 91 81 88
Attempted manslaughter, murder or homicide 95 91 92 94 97 91 97
Rape 63 56 57 63 66 59 128 1)
1) The clearance rate for offences is calculated so that the offences recorded by the police in the statistical reference year and all the offences solved in that same year are compared with each other. Therefore the clearance rate can be over 100.

1.7. Persons suspected of offences

In all, 284,000 persons were suspected of the 255,000 offences solved in 2012. Women made up 18 per cent of these persons.

In addition to the quantitative difference, the criminality of men and women differs in that women's shares of assaults, drunken driving and damages to property are small compared to men. However, the share of women suspected of assaults and drunken driving has doubled in 20 years. Typical crimes for women are petty thefts, embezzlements and forgeries.

Table 4. Suspects of solved offences by age and sex in 2003–2012

Year Persons suspected of offences - Age
Males
total  
Females
total
Males
aged
under 15
Females
aged
under 15
Males
aged
15–17
Females
aged
15–17
Males
aged
18–20
Females
aged
18–20
Males
aged
over 20
Females
aged
over 20
2003 236 391 42 097 7 600 2 590 19 033 4 127 35 161 5 300 174 597 30 080
2004 250 087 47 028 8 342 3 182 20 063 4 763 33 466 5 670 188 216 33 413
2005 250 489 46 580 7 289 3 047 22 486 4 546 31 983 5 521 188 731 33 466
2006 239 264 45 093 6 934 2 725 19 296 4 093 28 830 5 783 184 204 32 492
2007 250 303 57 847 8 347 2 749 19 783 4 077 29 702 5 433 192 471 45 588
2008 257 955 50 240 10 577 3 198 20 592 4 207 30 388 5 987 196 398 36 848
2009 247 229 51 298 8 846 3 173 19 049 4 635 27 261 5 923 192 073 37 567
2010 249 123 52 930 8 023 3 414 18 542 5 053 27 431 5 722 195 127 38 741
2011 248 787 53 975 9 091 3 640 19 359 5 230 28 224 5 943 192 113 39 162
2012 233 726 49 896 6 930 2 738 16 532 4 338 26 485 5 439 183 779 37 381

In 2012, the share of young and underage people - aged 21 or under - among all suspects was 22 per cent. The shares of young people were large for alcohol offences, robberies, damages to property and thefts of a motor vehicle. Thirty-five per cent of those suspected of robberies were young people. In damages to property the percentage was 46 and in thefts of a motor vehicle 32. The share of young people suspected of assaults was 21 per cent.

1.8. Foreign citizens

The number of persons suspected of the offences solved in 2012 by the police, customs and border guard was 284,000, of whom 35,000 were citizens of foreign countries. Compared to 2011, the number of all suspects decreased by six per cent, while the number of foreign citizens suspected increased by good two per cent. Over the past ten years, the number of foreign suspects has been 24,000, on average. In 2012, Russians made up the biggest group of foreign suspects, numbering 9,000. Only one-quarter of them reside permanently in Finland. Suspects were citizens of 149 different countries.

Figure 7. Foreign citizens suspected of offences by place of residence in 2009–2012

Figure 7. Foreign citizens suspected of offences by place of residence in 2009–2012

Among the offences solved in 2012, 44 per cent of the suspected foreign citizens were living permanently in Finland. The respective proportion has remained almost unchanged over the past few years. Foreign suspects living in Finland were slightly younger than Finnish suspects were. Their average age was 31 years, while that of Finnish suspects was 32 years. Typical offences by foreigners living in Finland were theft, assault and drunken driving offences, as well as driving a motor vehicle without a license.

In the statistics, the same person can be a suspect several times. Data on the nationality of suspects and on whether they are permanently resident in Finland or not are based on the nationality data derived from the police and those selected by means of the personal identity code from the population data. The group "no permanent place of residence in Finland" is in that sense problematic, because it may include persons staying longer periods in Finland without applying for a permanent place of residence here. The group may also include persons suspected of a narcotics offence, for example, who have come to Finland only for the purpose of committing a crime.

Table 5. Suspects of solved offences living in Finland by age and nationality in 2012

Age groups Suspects living
permanently in Finland
Share per 1,000
population in the age group
Finnish residents    Foreign citizens Finnish residents Foreign citizens
Total        245 870 15 418 47 79
     –14        8 756 517 10 18
15–17   19 657 882 108 180
18–20  29 348 1 459 105 244
21–24       33 009 2 280 128 176
25–29     35 960 2 825 114 105
30–34     29 275 2 235 92 80
35–39 22 586 1 794 73 80
40–49 36 242 2 505 54 77
50–59    20 945 709 29 38
60–69       7 946 152 11 19
 70–       2 146 60 3 10

1.9. Victims of offences

Victims of the assault offences recorded by the police in 2012 numbered 37,000, which is six per cent less than one year earlier. Of the victims, 22,000 (60 per cent) were men and 15,000 (40 per cent) women. The number of male victims was seven per cent and that of female ones five per cent lower than in 2011. The typical age of victims of assault is 18. This age group contained 1,500 (4 per cent) of all victims. In all, 4,800 of those aged 50 or over (13 per cent) were victims of assaults.

Assaults of children aged under 18 decreased by three per cent in 2012 from the year before. Now, there were 5,900 child victims compared with 6,100 in 2011. This is 16 per cent of all victims of assaults. Among child victims, 3,800 (64 per cent) were boys and 2,100 girls (36 per cent). Seventeen per cent of the children belonged to the age group of those aged 0 to 6, 44 per cent to those aged 7 to 14, and 39 per cent to those aged 15 to 17.

Figure 8. Victims of assault offences by age and sex in 2012

Figure 8. Victims of assault offences by age and sex in 2012

Source: Offences known to the police 2012. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kimmo Haapakangas 09 1734 3252, rikos@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 2.4.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Offences known to the police [e-publication].
ISSN=2242-7953. 2012, 1. Review on offences recorded by the police, customs and border guard . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.1.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/polrik/2012/polrik_2012_2013-04-02_kat_001_en.html