2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences

2.1. Victims of certain offences

In 2019, there were 51,900 victims of recorded offences, which is 3.2 per cent more than in in the year before. Of the victims, 27,500 were men and 24,500 women. The number of male victims grew by 2.1 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 55 per cent of victims belong to the age group 15 to 39. Of the victims, 22 per cent were minors, which is good two percentage points more than in the year before. 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 around 18 to 20 per cent.

Of the victims of assault offences 8.1 per cent (2,700) were aged 18 to 20. Male victims were slightly younger than female victims as over 60 per cent of the victims aged under 25 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, 44 per cent were aged under 25, while 35 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 2019

Figure 8. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2019

In solved offences, where, in addition to the victim, the suspect is also known, the victim was of Finnish background in 92.8 per cent of cases (Table 6). This is 1.2 percentage points more than one year earlier. In 94.7 per cent of sexual offences, the victim was of Finnish background. This is 0.3 percentage points lower than in the year before.

Of the suspects, 88.8 per cent were of Finnish background, which is 0.3 percentage points more than in the previous year. In sexual offences, the share of suspects of Finnish background went down by 4.8 percentage points to 72.8 per cent.

In offences against a victim of Finnish background, the suspect was also of Finnish background in 91.6 per cent of cases. In sexual offences, the share was 74.8 per cent. The share was good four percentage points lower than in 2018.

In 2019, the share of suspects with foreign background of offences against victims of foreign background fell to under one half. The share was now 47.9 per cent, having been 53.2 per cent in the year before.

Table 6. Victims of certain solved offences by origin and person suspected by origin 2019

Victim's origin/offence Person suspected origin
Origins total Person with Finnish background total Person with foreign background total
Origins total Total 16,188 14,372 1,816
Assault offences 10,794 9,626 1,168
Sexual offences exc 901 656 245
Other offences 4,493 4,090 403
Person with Finnish background total Total 15,018 13,763 1,255
Assault offences 9,948 9,190 758
Sexual offences exc 853 638 215
Other offences 4,217 3,935 282
Person with foreign background total Total 1,170 609 561
Assault offences 846 436 410
Sexual offences exc 48 18 30
Other offences 276 155 121

2.2 Persons suspected of solved offences

About 30 per cent of suspects are suspected of several offences

Of the 275,000 offences against the Criminal Code solved in 2019, a total of 300,400 persons were suspects, which is around one per cent more than in the previous year. The same person can be suspected of more than one offence and one offence can have several suspects. Of the suspects, 240,700 were men, which is 0.3 per cent more than in the year before. The number of female suspects increased by 3.3 per cent. They numbered 59,700. Of those suspect of offences against the Criminal Code, 19.9 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 124,800 suspects of offences against the Criminal Code. So, one person was suspect of an average of 2.4 offences. On average, men are suspected of 2.5 offences and women of 2.1 offences. For both 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 slightly under one fifth.

The majority of suspects, 69.4 per cent, were suspects of only one offence against the Criminal Code in 2019. The corresponding figure was 70.6 per cent in the previous year. In all, 14.4 per cent were suspects of two offences. Of the suspects, 16.2 per cent were suspected of more than two offences.

Figure 9. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2019, %

Figure 9. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2019, %

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 2010-2019, share per 1,000 population

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total Total 33 33 31 30 28 27 25 23 23 23
0 - 14 8 9 7 6 5 5 6 6 6 6
15 - 17 62 64 55 52 49 47 43 44 43 43
18 - 20 91 93 88 86 80 78 76 71 75 74
21 - 24 71 72 67 66 62 61 57 54 56 54
Male Total 52 52 48 46 44 43 40 36 37 35
0 - 14 11 12 10 9 8 8 8 9 8 9
15 - 17 93 96 84 80 77 72 65 69 67 67
18 - 20 139 139 131 129 119 118 115 110 115 114
21 - 24 109 110 104 101 95 94 87 83 87 82
Female Total 14 15 14 13 13 12 12 10 10 10
0 - 14 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3
15 - 17 30 31 25 23 20 20 19 18 17 17
18 - 20 42 45 44 42 39 37 34 31 34 33
21 - 24 30 31 29 30 28 27 26 24 24 24

Table 8. Suspects of solved offences against the Criminal Code by age and sex in 2010-2019, share per 1,000 population

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total Total 69 69 64 62 59 58 57 54 54 54
0 - 14 13 14 11 10 9 8 8 9 9 10
15 - 17 122 126 109 103 98 91 84 82 80 83
18 - 20 208 214 201 198 185 185 180 199 178 175
21 - 24 183 175 167 165 152 156 152 148 156 154
Male Total 115 115 106 102 97 95 92 89 88 88
0 - 14 18 20 15 14 13 12 12 14 12 14
15 - 17 194 202 177 167 161 149 134 134 128 134
18 - 20 332 340 320 314 290 293 279 332 284 272
21 - 24 290 279 268 261 241 250 239 234 246 237
Female Total 25 26 23 24 23 23 22 20 21 21
0 - 14 8 8 6 5 4 4 4 5 5 5
15 - 17 46 47 39 37 33 31 31 28 29 30
18 - 20 79 82 77 77 76 72 75 60 65 71
21 - 24 71 67 62 64 60 58 60 58 61 66

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, 13 per cent were under the influence of alcohol and 11 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 36 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 2019, there were 34,300 foreign citizens suspected of offences against the Criminal Code. This is nearly 200 (0.5 per cent) more than in 2018. The number of Finnish suspects was 2,600 (one per cent) higher than in the year before. Of the foreign suspects, 55.1 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. The share was 0.8 percentage points higher than in the year before.

In Mainland Finland, the proportion of foreigners among suspects was biggest in the region of South Karelia. The share of foreigners was 21.9 per cent. The next highest shares of foreigners were found in Uusimaa, 19.6 per cent, and Kymenlaakso 16.9 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 2019

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 2019

The biggest group of foreigners suspected of offences against the Criminal Code were Estonian. They numbered 8,900, which is the same as in 2018. Other countries where over 1,000 of citizens were suspected were Russia (4,600), Iraq (3,200), Sweden (1,800), Romania (1,500) and Somalia (1,000). For example, compared with the year before, the number of Iraqis increased by 3.5 per cent and that of Somali decreased by 5.7 per cent. The number of Swedes went down by 12.3 per cent and that of Romanians by 9.3 per cent.

Of Romanians, only 18.9 per cent were permanent residents of Finland. Under one-half of Russian suspects also lived permanently in Finland. Of them, 32.5 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. Just over one-half of Estonians resided permanently in Finland. Of Somalis, 95 per cent and 70.4 per cent of Iraqis resided permanently in Finland.

In all, 87.6 per cent of foreign suspects were men. Of Finnish suspects, 79.2 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 40 per cent were aged under 30. Of Finnish suspects, 19 per cent are aged under 21 and 46 per cent under 30.

Origin

Of the suspects of offences against the Criminal Code, 256,400 (85.4 per cent) were of Finnish background. The share of suspects of Finnish origin has decreased by 4.1 percentage points in ten years. Some 96 per cent of the suspects of Finnish background were born in Finland.

There were 31,500 suspects with foreign background (10.5 per cent). Ten 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 six 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 people with Northern European origin has risen from 19 to 24 per cent. The share of people with Western Asian background has risen from good 11 per cent to slightly under 17 per cent.

Table 9. Persons suspected of offences against criminal code with foreign background by background country 2009-2019

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total 23564 25539 27449 27971 27371 28440 29089 29244 28900 31103 31549
Northern Africa 957 1197 1231 1162 965 1039 1052 997 1104 1026 1007
Sub-Saharan Africa 3349 3534 3782 3454 3750 4367 4617 4578 3997 4140 4209
America 477 505 504 504 457 509 519 556 553 486 435
Eastern Asia 302 187 400 328 194 237 212 195 160 187 222
Western Asia 2678 2758 2971 3047 3218 3419 3610 3734 4065 4760 5190
South-eastern Asia and Oceania 985 904 936 1049 1146 1036 961 1128 913 959 925
Eastern Europe 6103 5915 6299 6369 5915 5924 6027 5841 5943 5932 5895
Northern Europe 4423 5925 6396 6768 6524 6478 6450 6561 6600 7731 7621
Southern Europe 1665 1548 1507 1542 1490 1527 1536 1394 1394 1393 1309
Western Europe 2235 2515 2591 2771 2492 2506 2497 2537 2625 2788 2757
Unknown 390 551 832 977 1220 1398 1608 1723 1546 1701 1979

There were 12,400 (4.1 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 2018, a total of 7.3 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 26 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 53.1 to 56.8 per cent in ten years.

Female suspects have slightly higher income than male suspects. Of them, 48.1 per cent belonged to the three lowest income deciles in 2019, while the corresponding figure for men was 58.9 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 five per cent. Of the suspects, good 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 2019, Offences reported. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 14.5.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. 13 2019, 2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.4.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2019/13/rpk_2019_13_2020-05-14_kat_002_en.html