2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences

2.1. Victims of certain offences

In 2018, there were 50,300 victims of recorded offences, which is 2.9 per cent more than in 2017. Of the victims, 26,900 were men and 23,400 women. The number of male victims grew by 1.6 per cent and that of female victims by 4.4 per cent.

Information on victims is obtained reliably only on certain violent and sexual offences. For example, in offences against property, the police do usually not identify the victim of the offence and the injured party. Especially in offences against minors, the guardian of the actual victim is recorded as an injured party.

Close on 60 per cent of victims belong to the age group 15 to 39. Twenty per cent of victims were minors For men, the share of minors has risen slightly more than for women. In 2009, sixteen per cent of male victims were minors, while over the past few years the share has been around 20 per cent. For females, the share of minors has risen from 18 to 20 per cent.

Of the victims of assault offences 8.6 per cent (2,800) were aged 18 to 20. Male victims were slightly younger than female victims as of the victims aged under 25 sixty per cent were men while the share drops closer to 50 per cent for older victims. Apart from the oldest age groups, over one-half of assault victims are men. Of the male victims, 43 per cent were aged under 25, while 36 per cent of female victims were aged under 25.

Approximately 80 per cent of attempted homicide victims are men. Close on 90 per cent of the victims of sexual abuse of a child are girls and over 95 per cent of rape victims are female.

Figure 8. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2018

Figure 8. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2018

In terms of solved offences, where, in addition to the victim, the suspect is also known, the victim was of Finnish background in 91.6 per cent of cases. The share is 0.5 percentage points higher than in 2017. In sexual offences the victim was of Finnish background in 95 per cent of cases. This is 0.8 percentage points more than in 2017.

Of the suspects, 88.5 per cent were of Finnish background, which is 1.1 percentage points more than in 2017. In sexual offences, the share of suspects of Finnish background grew by 0.8 percentage points to 77.6 per cent.

In offences against a victim of Finnish background, the suspect was also of Finnish background in 92.3 per cent of cases. In sexual offences, the share was 79.2 per cent. The share is nearly eight percentage points higher than in 2017.

When the victim is of foreign background the suspect is also more often of foreign background. In 2018, the share of suspects with foreign background of offences against victims of foreign background was 53.2 per cent. Compared to the year before, the share has risen by one percentage point but compared to 2016 it has decreased by 3.9 per cent.

Table 6. Victims of certain solved offences by origin and person suspected by origin 2018

Victim's origin/offence Person suspected origin
Origins total Person with Finnish background total Person with foreign background total
Origins total Total 17,363 15,366 1,997
Assault offences 11,752 10,401 1,351
Sexual offences exc 906 703 203
Other offences 4,705 4,262 443
Person with Finnish background total Total 15,898 14,681 1,217
Assault offences 10,670 9,906 764
Sexual offences exc 861 682 179
Other offences 4,367 4,093 274
Person with foreign background total Total 1,465 685 780
Assault offences 1,082 495 587
Sexual offences exc 45 21 24
Other offences 338 169 169

2.2 Persons suspected of solved offences

About 30 per cent of suspects are suspected of several offences

Of the 273,600 offences against the Criminal Code solved in 2018, a total of 297,600 persons were suspects, which is as many as last year. The same person can be suspected of more than one offence and one offence can have several suspects. Of the suspects, 239,800 were men, which is 1.1 per cent fewer than in the year before. The number of female suspects increased by 4.5 per cent. They numbered 57,800. Of those suspect of offences against the Criminal Code, 19.4 per cent were women. The share of women among suspects has varied between 17 and 20 per cent in recent years.

Statistics Finland only publishes data on suspects of solved offences. The preliminary investigation authority records the offence as solved when the preliminary investigation is completed, and the case can be transferred to the prosecutor for consideration of charges. The fact that someone is a suspect does not mean that the prosecutor will charge or convict the person of an offence.

Suspects can also be examined by the gravest offence of the year or the so-called principal offence. Examined this way, there were 129,400 suspects of offences against the Criminal Code. So, one person was suspect of an average of 2.3 offences. On average, men are suspect of 2.4 offences and women of two offences. Both for men and women, offences seem to concentrate on ever fewer suspects as for both, the number of offences per suspect has grown since 2006.

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 were small compared to men. However, the share of women suspected of assaults has risen from under 10 per cent in 1980 to some 20 per cent. Typical crimes for women are shoplifting and petty thefts, frauds, embezzlements and forgeries.

The share of minors and young people aged under 21 among suspects is around one-fifth.

The majority of suspects, 70.6 per cent, were suspects of only one offence against the Penal Code in 2018. In all, 13.9 per cent were suspects of two offences. Of the suspects, 15.5 per cent were suspected of more than two offences.

Figure 9. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2018, %

Figure 9. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2018, %

Tables 7 and 8 show the suspects of offences against the Criminal Code by age group relative to the population. Based on the gravest offence a person is only suspected once during the year. Based on the tables, offences concentrate on an ever smaller group of suspects.

Table 7. Suspects of solved offences against the Criminal Code by age and sex, principal offence rule in 2009-2018, share per 1,000 population

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Total 35 33 33 31 30 28 27 25 23 23
- 14 8 8 9 7 6 5 5 6 6 6
15 - 17 61 62 64 55 52 49 47 43 44 43
18 - 20 98 91 93 88 86 80 78 76 71 75
21 - 24 78 71 72 67 66 62 61 57 54 56
Male Total 56 52 52 48 46 44 43 40 36 37
- 14 11 11 12 10 9 8 8 8 9 8
15 - 17 92 93 96 84 80 77 72 65 69 67
18 - 20 149 139 139 131 129 119 118 115 110 115
21 - 24 120 109 110 104 101 95 94 87 83 87
Female Total 15 14 15 14 13 13 12 12 10 10
- 14 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3
15 - 17 27 30 31 25 23 20 20 19 18 17
18 - 20 45 42 45 44 42 39 37 34 31 34
21 - 24 33 30 31 29 30 28 27 26 24 24

Table 8. Suspects of solved offences against the Criminal Code by age and sex in 2009-2018, share per 1,000 population

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Total 72 69 69 64 62 59 58 57 54 54
- 14 14 13 14 11 10 9 8 8 9 9
15 - 17 123 122 126 109 103 98 91 84 82 80
18 - 20 217 208 214 201 198 185 185 180 199 178
21 - 24 193 183 175 167 165 152 156 152 148 156
Male Total 120 115 115 106 102 97 95 92 89 88
- 14 20 18 20 15 14 13 12 12 14 12
15 - 17 200 194 202 177 167 161 149 134 134 128
18 - 20 343 332 340 320 314 290 293 279 332 284
21 - 24 307 290 279 268 261 241 250 239 234 246
Female Total 26 25 26 24 24 23 23 22 20 21
- 14 7 8 8 6 5 4 4 4 5 5
15 - 17 44 46 47 39 37 33 31 31 28 29
18 - 20 85 79 82 77 77 76 72 75 60 65
21 - 24 73 71 67 62 64 60 58 60 58 61

Of all suspects of offences and infractions, six per cent were under the influence of alcohol. In 2006, the corresponding share was 16 per cent. The state of intoxication is not examined in nearly all cases. For example, in connection with automatic traffic control the state of intoxication is not examined.

Of all suspects of offences against the Criminal Code, 14 per cent were under the influence of alcohol and 10 per cent were under the influence of other intoxicants. The role of alcohol as an intoxicant has decreased and that of other intoxicants has increased. In all, 22 per cent of suspects were under the influence of alcohol and four per cent were under the influence of other intoxicants in 2006. Of the suspects of offences against life and health 38 per cent were under the influence of alcohol, while in 2006 the corresponding share was 60 per cent.

2.3 Nationality and origin

Number of foreign suspects increasing

In 2018, there were 34,200 foreign citizens suspected for offences against the Criminal Code. This is 1,000 (three per cent ) more than in 2017. The number of Finnish suspects was 1,200 (0.5 per cent ) lower than in the year before. Of the foreign suspects, 54.3 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. The share was 1.7 percentage points higher than in 2017.

In Mainland Finland, the proportion of foreigners among suspects was biggest in the region of South Karelia. The share of foreigners was 21.5 per cent. The second highest share of foreigners was found in Uusimaa, 19.5 per cent, and Kymenlaakso 16.4 per cent.

Persons with dual nationality, whose one nationality is Finnish are recorded as Finns. The permanent residence of a person is determined based on the person's municipality of residence. Tourists, asylum-seekers and other persons staying temporarily in the country do not have a domicile of Finland. Statistics Finland records suspect data only on solved crimes. A person can appear as a suspect in the statistics several times during the year.

Figure 10. Foreign citizens suspected of offences against the Criminal Code, their share of all persons suspected and share with permanent residence in Finland in 2009 to 2018

Figure 10. Foreign citizens suspected of offences against the Criminal Code, their share of all persons suspected and share with permanent residence in Finland in 2009 to 2018

The biggest group of foreigners suspected of offences against the Criminal Code were Estonian. They number 8,900, which is 6.7 per cent more than in 2017. Other countries where over 1,000 of citizens were suspected were Russia (4,800), Iraq (3,100), Sweden (2,000), Romania (1,700) and Somalia (1,100). For example, compared with the year before, the number of Iraqis decreased by 4.7 per cent and that of Somali by 3.5 per cent. The number of Swedes increased by 24.7 per cent and that of Romanians by 13.9 per cent.

Of Romanians, only 16.5 per cent were permanent residents of Finland. Less than one-half of Russian suspects also lived permanently in Finland. Of them, 34.8 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. Just over one-half of Estonians resided permanently in Finland. Of Somalis, 93.4 per cent and 64.2 per cent of Iraqis resided permanently in Finland.

In all, 87.7 per cent of foreign suspects were men. Of Finnish suspects, 79.7 per cent were men. Foreigners were also slightly older than Finnish suspects. Of foreign suspects, around 11 per cent were aged under 21 and around 43 per cent were aged under 30. Of Finnish suspects, 19 per cent are aged under 21 and 47 per cent under 30.

Origin

Of the suspects of offences against the Criminal Code, 254,200 (85.4 per cent) were of Finnish background. The share of suspects of Finnish origin has decreased by 4.1 per cent in ten years. Some 97 per cent of the suspects of Finnish background were born in Finland.

There were 30,700 suspects with foreign background (10.3 per cent). Nearly 11 per cent of suspects with foreign background were born in Finland. The share of suspects with foreign background who have been born in Finland has increased by nearly seven percentage points in ten years.

The share of suspects with eastern European origin among foreign suspects has decreased in ten years from 26 to 19 per cent. Correspondingly, the share of those with northern European origin has increased from good 19 to close on 26 per cent and those with western Asian origin has grown from good 11 to good 15 per cent.

Table 9. Persons suspected of offences against criminal code with foreign background by background country 2009-2018

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total 23,571 25,541 27,450 27,974 27,373 28,448 29,094 29,244 28,904 30,735
Northern Africa 958 1,198 1,233 1,163 968 1,048 1,054 999 1,104 1,023
Sub-Saharan Africa 3,348 3,533 3,779 3,452 3,748 4,360 4,615 4,577 3,983 4,111
America 477 505 504 505 457 515 518 555 554 478
Eastern Asia 302 188 400 328 194 238 212 195 160 185
Western Asia 2,678 2,757 2,971 3,057 3,218 3,419 3,613 3,733 4,065 4,680
South-eastern Asia and Oceania 987 905 937 1,055 1,146 1,037 961 1,130 913 963
Eastern Europe 6,129 5,955 6,316 6,372 5,924 5,944 6,035 5,835 5,946 5,873
Northern Europe 4,559 6,122 6,747 7,216 7,144 7,138 7,240 7,152 7,116 7,907
Southern Europe 1,681 1,548 1,507 1,542 1,493 1,531 1,542 1,397 1,394 1,384
Western Europe 370 384 348 306 331 233 278 262 248 242
Unknown 219 312 465 511 591 710 806 1,134 1,042 1,359

There were 12,700 (4.3 per cent) suspects of unknown origin. The share of those with unknown origin has remained more or less the same, but the absolute number has shrunk.

In 2017, seven per cent of the Finnish population was of foreign origin.

A person whose one or both parents were born in Finland is counted as having Finnish background. A person has foreign background if his or her both parents were born abroad. Origin information is not available for tourists or other persons not belonging to the Finnish population.

2.4 Backgrounds of suspects

Around 24 per cent of those suspected of offences against the Criminal Code belonged to the lowest income decile when viewed by disposable money income. Over one-half of the suspects belong to the three lowest income deciles. The share of those belonging to these three lowest income deciles has increased from 50.5 to 56.1 per cent in ten years.

Female suspects have slightly higher income than male suspects. Oh them, 46.1 per cent belonged to the three lowest income deciles in 2018, while the corresponding figure form men was 58.5 per cent.

In relative terms, most suspects belonging to the highest income decile were found among suspects of traffic offences and infractions, employment offences and tax evasion.

Examined by main type of activity, 26 per cent of suspects were unemployed, while the share of unemployed in the entire population was under six per cent. Of the suspects, 28 per cent were employed while the employed represent close on 48 per cent of the entire population.

More than one-half of suspects have no post-basic level educational qualification. Only good five per cent of suspects had lower or upper level university degrees or doctorate degrees.


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2018, Offences reported. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kimmo Haapakangas 029 551 3252, rikos@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 16.5.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. Reported offences, 1st quarter 2018, 2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 12.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2018/13/rpk_2018_13_2019-05-16_kat_002_en.html