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

Thefts, frauds and extortions on the rise in 2020

1.1. Summary

A total of 686,000 offences and infractions were recorded in 2020 by the police, customs and border guard, which was 16.2 per cent fewer than one year before. Of these offences and infractions, 543,400 were offences against the Criminal Code. Their number increased by 20 per cent from the previous year. Most offences outside the Criminal Code consists of traffic infractions, violations of social welfare legislation on road traffic and motor vehicle infractions. The Road Traffic Act was revised on 1 June 2020, and as a result of the reform an administrative sanction will be imposed for certain traffic infractions instead of a fine. For this reason, the number of traffic infractions in the statistics on offences has fallen considerably.

Figure 1 Offences against the Criminal Code 1980 to 2020

Figure 1 Offences against the Criminal Code 1980 to 2020
*After 2016 not all of the Traffic offences are reported to prosecutor

Most of the offences and infractions are recorded by the police. The police recorded 676,600 offences and infractions in 2020, which was 16 per cent fewer than one year before. Offences against the Criminal Code increased by 20.9 per cent. A total of 536,600 of them were recorded.

The customs recorded 6,500 offences and infractions of which 5,100 were offences against the Criminal Code. The border guard recorded 3,000 offences and infractions of which 1,700 were offences against the Criminal Code. Offences and infractions recorded by the customs decreased by 17.5 per cent and those recorded by the border guard decreased by 45 per cent.

During 2020, the police, customs and border guard solved a total of 507,800 offences and infractions, which is 22 per cent lower than in 2018. The number of offences against the Criminal Code was 313,400, which is up by 14 per cent on the year before.

1.2 Offences against property

Number of offences against property increased by 18.7 per cent

A total of 256,500 offences against property were recorded in 2020, which is 18.7 per cent more than in the previous year. More offences against property were last recorded in 2011, when their number was 259,800.

The recorded number of theft offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Sections 1 to 3) was 139,100, which is close on 10 per cent (12,200 cases) more than in 2019. The number of aggravated thefts (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 2) was 2,600, which is nearly seven per cent lower than in 2019. The number of petty thefts (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 3) grew by nearly eight per cent (4,900 cases) and theft offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 1) increased by good 12 per cent (7,500 cases) compared with the previous year. In all, 67,800 petty thefts and 68,600 thefts were reported. Compared to the beginning of the 2000s, the number of theft offences has fallen by around 30 per cent.

Of all theft offences, thefts and petty thefts from shops amounted to 52,500, which is 9.9 per cent more than in the year before.

Figure 2. Thefts 2000 to 2020

Figure 2. Thefts 2000 to 2020

In 2020, the number of reported burglaries (thefts, aggravated thefts or petty thefts through unlawful breaking in) was 34,800, which is 4,900 cases (16.4 per cent) more than in the year before. The number of burglary offences has been falling throughout the 2010s apart for a couple of exceptional years. Break-ins into cars have decreased especially much as their number has almost halved. In 2020, a total of 8,800 break-ins into cars were recorded, which is 1,300 more than in the previous year.

The number of break-ins into houses reported was just under 3,400, which is unchanged from the year before. The number of break-ins into free-time residences recorded was 1,400, which is close on 14 per cent more than in 2019. The numbers of these offences vary much yearly but the general trend in the 2010s has been decreasing.

Figure 3. Burglaries 2009 to 2020

Figure 3. Burglaries 2009 to 2020

In total, 6,200 cases of thefts of a motor vehicle for temporary use (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 9), unauthorised uses and thefts of a motor vehicle were recorded, which is nearly nine per cent more than in the year before.

Table 1. Thefts of use of a motor vehicle 2011-2020

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total 9,464 6,821 6,126 5,953 5,878 5,253 4,868 4,540 4,333 4,741
Car 5,996 4,335 3,645 3,511 3,712 3,253 2,937 2,893 2,758 2,906
Moped 2,116 1,631 1,560 1,524 1,240 1,088 929 795 776 795
Motorcycle 1,021 629 656 681 722 694 770 623 562 713
Boat/vessel 32 31 34 19 19 21 34 22 20 34
Other motor vehicle 299 195 231 218 185 197 198 207 217 293

Altogether, 2,000 robberies (Criminal Code, Chapter 31, Sections 1 to 2, 2a) were recorded, which is slightly over 10 per cent more than in the year before. Of the robberies, 448 were aggravated, which is 101 cases more than in 2019. Nearly two-thirds of robberies occurred in public places.

The number of damages to property reported was 33,400, which is almost 10 per cent more than in 2019. Reports of damages to property in public places decreased most. They went down by close on six per cent. In turn, damages to property committed in a private place increased by 18 per cent.

The number of reported frauds (Criminal Code, Chapter 36, Sections 1-3) has been growing for a few years. The number of reported frauds was 34,000, which is 5,400 cases (18.4 per cent) more than in the previous year. In all, 7,400 means of payment frauds (Criminal Code, Chapter 37, Sections 8 to 11) were reported, which is nearly 1,100 cases (16.9 per cent) more than in the previous year.

Examined by region, most offences against property were reported in Uusimaa, both measured by the number of cases and relative to the size of the population. The offences are recorded based on the municipality where the offence occurs, not the municipality of residence of the suspect, so offences committed by tourists and other visitors are visible in the figures for that region.

Table 2. Selected offences against property by region per 100,000 population in 2020

  Offences against property Theft 28:1 Aggravated theft 28:2 Petty theft 28:3 Breaking into a residence Breaking into a summer residence Robberies total Damages to property total
Whole country 4,688 1,242 48 1,227 61 25 36 604
Uusimaa 5,959 1,746 66 1,576 71 10 58 730
Southwest Finland 4,445 1,363 46 1,091 58 25 30 538
Satakunta 3,954 1,103 52 1,021 71 27 20 630
Kanta-Hme 3,758 1,064 57 918 65 28 26 594
Pirkanmaa 4,634 1,256 50 1,255 64 27 30 563
Pijt-Hme 5,161 1,607 43 1,132 51 40 28 599
Kymenlaakso 4,212 1,157 72 1,069 89 46 27 594
South Karelia 4,086 1,027 35 956 39 28 17 589
South Savo 3,197 772 33 804 60 60 16 510
North Savo 3,556 874 24 1,112 42 39 22 624
North Karelia 3,247 791 21 1,012 41 30 21 448
Central Finland 4,148 1,208 48 1,075 66 71 38 550
South Ostrobothnia 2,243 367 32 669 46 15 21 399
Ostrobothnia 2,810 825 31 820 47 17 18 461
Central Ostrobothnia 2,696 412 12 1,127 29 3 24 441
North Ostrobothnia 3,557 719 21 1,287 49 19 37 524
Kainuu 3,179 527 22 1,250 43 18 13 614
Lapland 3,424 700 38 1,030 52 24 20 569
land 2,028 388 40 491 66 17 10 621

1.3 Violence and sexual offences

Number of reported rape offences on the decline in 2020

In all, 86 suspected offences against life were reported. This is 14 cases more than in 2019, which was the lowest figure in the 2000s. The number of offences against life has primarily been on the decline. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 89 cases per year have been recorded while between 2001 and 2010 the average was 124. Almost 90 per cent of all offences against life were committed in private dwellings or some other private location. The number of offences against life in 2015 included 12 murders made with terrorist intent abroad, which the Finnish police were investigating. Of the offences against life recorded in 2017, two were murders made with terrorist intent. Altogether, 383 attempted homicides were recorded, which is 54 cases fewer than in the year before.

In 2020, a total of 33,300 assaults were reported, which is almost 600 cases fewer than in the previous year. In the 2010s, an average of 35,000 assaults have been recorded per year. The number of basic assaults went down by 1.9 per cent. In all, 23,200 such assaults were reported. The number of aggravated assaults went up by 10.7 per cent. Nearly 1,800 of them were recorded. The number of petty assaults recorded was 8,300, which is 3.3 per cent fewer than in the previous year. The legislative amendment, which entered into force at the beginning of 2011, considerably increased the number of assault offences recorded in 2011. After the legislative amendment, petty assaults on minors or close relatives became officially prosecutable. In 2011, the number of assault offences recorded was 40,200.

A total of 1,450 rapes (rape, aggravated rape, Paragraph 3) were recorded, which is 1.8 per cent fewer than in the previous year. Of all rape offences, nearly 90 per cent were committed in private dwellings or some other private location. The recorded number of sexual abuses of a child was 1,770, which is 3.6 per cent more than in 2019. The act on aggravated rape of a child entered into force on 15 April 2019. During 2020, a total of 68 cases of aggravated rape of a child were reported. In the statistics, aggravated rape of a child is included in the figures on cases of sexual abuse of a child. In addition, 1,172 other sexual offences were reported. Of them, 555 were cases of sexual harassment, which is 37 cases fewer than in 2019. Sexual harassment was added to the Criminal Code on 1 September 2014. The numbers of rapes and sexual abuses of a child vary much yearly. Individual reports may include a series of incidents comprising several criminal acts.

Table 3. Selected violent offences by region per 100,000 population in 2020

  Offences against life and health Offences against life and attempted Assault 21:5 Aggravated assault 21:6 Petty assault 21:7
Whole country 650 8 421 32 150
Uusimaa 742 10 511 34 146
Southwest Finland 606 8 372 23 161
Satakunta 639 5 413 30 140
Kanta-Hme 548 7 305 30 167
Pirkanmaa 591 7 359 29 159
Pijt-Hme 542 10 333 33 131
Kymenlaakso 583 8 356 40 137
South Karelia 574 7 334 28 180
South Savo 600 6 326 34 198
North Savo 672 13 351 31 224
North Karelia 471 8 304 20 107
Central Finland 738 8 516 36 141
South Ostrobothnia 587 7 397 39 111
Ostrobothnia 535 7 354 32 114
Central Ostrobothnia 628 15 372 49 169
North Ostrobothnia 582 6 398 28 124
Kainuu 826 8 544 45 170
Lapland 629 7 374 25 173
land 727 3 478 33 163

Relative to the population in the region, most sexual offences were reported in Central Finland, 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Most cases of sexual abuse of a child relative to the population were reported in Satakunta. There a total of 120 sexual abuses of children were reported, that is, 56 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants.

Table 4. Sexual offences by region per 100,000 population in 2020

  Sexual offences Sexual abuse of a child Rape Other sexual offences
Whole country 80 32 26 21
Uusimaa 87 34 27 25
Southwest Finland 55 21 21 14
Satakunta 97 56 17 24
Kanta-Hme 68 18 28 22
Pirkanmaa 74 27 31 17
Pijt-Hme 57 20 27 11
Kymenlaakso 76 27 18 31
South Karelia 71 37 24 10
South Savo 55 20 26 9
North Savo 66 18 26 22
North Karelia 54 20 21 13
Central Finland 100 45 26 29
South Ostrobothnia 94 35 28 30
Ostrobothnia 92 53 19 19
Central Ostrobothnia 32 7 15 10
North Ostrobothnia 81 34 30 18
Kainuu 61 20 22 20
Lapland 67 21 28 18
land 83 37 33 13

1.4 Traffic offences and infractions

In 2020, a total of 132,400 different traffic offences were recorded, which is 19.7 per cent more than in the year before. In addition, 129,500 traffic infractions, violations of social welfare legislation on road traffic, and motor vehicle infractions were recorded. Of all traffic offences and infractions, 157,400 were cases of exceeding speed limits. Their number fell by 53 per cent from the previous year. The Road Traffic Act was revised on 1 June 2020, and as a result of the reform an administrative sanction will be imposed for certain traffic infractions instead of a fine. For this reason, the number of traffic infractions in the statistics on offences decreased considerably.

In 2020, a total of 20,200 cases of driving while intoxicated were recorded, which is 1,700 cases (9.3 per cent) more than in the previous year. Altogether, 13,300 basic cases of driving while intoxicated (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 3) were recorded, which is good 13 per cent more than in the year before. Altogether, 6,900 cases of driving while seriously intoxicated (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 4) were recorded, which is close on three per cent more than in the year before.

Figure 4. Drunken driving offences in 1980–2020

Figure 4. Drunken driving offences in 1980–2020

In cases of driving while seriously intoxicated, alcohol is still the intoxicant in around 90 per cent of cases, but three-quarters of the basic cases of driving while intoxicated are caused by other narcotic substances.

Figure 5. Drunken driving offences after intoxicant in 2003–2020 (The figure was corrected  on 12 May 2021)

Figure 5. Drunken driving offences after intoxicant in 2003–2020 (The figure was corrected  on 12 May 2021)

Good 200 waterway, air or rail traffic intoxication cases were recorded, which is approximately 15 per cent fewer than in the year before. Thirty-nine cases of non-motor powered traffic intoxication were recorded.

1.5 Narcotics and alcohol offences

Recorded narcotics offences still growing

Altogether, 37,100 narcotics offences were recorded, which is 14.8 per cent more than in the year before. A total of 1,450 aggravated narcotics offences were recorded, which is 100 cases less than in the previous year. In total, 23,800 unlawful uses of narcotics were recorded, which is 2,700 cases (12.9 per cent) more than in the previous year.

In all, 1,400 alcohol offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 50a) and infractions were recorded. This is nearly 22.3 per cent fewer than in the year before.

Figure 6. Alcohol and narcotics offences in 2000 to 2020

Figure 6. Alcohol and narcotics offences in 2000 to 2020

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 because of the activity of the police, customs or border guard officials and most of the offences remain undisclosed.

1.6 Other offences and infractions

Altogether 5,100 reports of invasion of domestic premises and harassing communications (Criminal Code, Chapter 24, Sections 1-2) were recorded, which is 400 more cases than one year earlier. In all, 110 cases of invasion or aggravated invasion of public premises (Criminal Code, Chapter 24, Sections 3-4) were recorded. Illicit observation was reported 390 times, which is 20 cases fewer than in the previous year.

In all, 9,800 menaces, 5,000 defamations, and good 700 stalking cases were recorded. The number of menaces grew by five per cent and that of defamations by nine per cent.

In all, 4,300 identity thefts were recorded, which is nine per cent more than in the previous year. Altogether 21,100 disseminations of information violating personal privacy were reported. This is 20,700 more than one year earlier. The increased number is due to information disseminated as a result of computer break-ins.

Good 300 employment offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 37) were reported, which is around 20 cases fewer than in the year before. Good 500 environmental offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 48) were recorded, which is approximately 60 cases more than in the previous year.

1.7 Solving of offences

During 2020, the police, customs and border guard solved a total of 507,800 offences and infractions, which is 22 per cent fewer than in the previous year. The fall was mainly caused by a fall in the number of traffic offences and infractions. The Road Traffic Act was revised on 1 June 2020, and as a result of the reform an administrative sanction will be imposed for certain traffic infractions instead of a fine. For this reason, the number of traffic infractions in the statistics on offences has fallen considerably. Altogether 313,400 offences against the Criminal Code were solved, which is good 38,400 cases more than in the previous year. The clearance rate of all offences and infractions was 74 per cent and the clearance rate of offences against the Criminal Code was 57.7 per cent. The corresponding rates were 79.2 and 60.7 per cent in the year before. The clearance rate is calculated as the share of solved offences in the statistical year compared to the number of reported offences in the statistical year. For this reason, the clearance rate may be over 100 per cent for some year.

The clearance rate varies by type of offence quite strongly. Only approximately 15 per cent of thefts (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 1) are solved while one-half of petty theft (Criminal Code, Chapter 28, Section 3) cases are solved. The clearance rate of assault offences has decreased slightly in recent years. In 2020, the clearance rate of assault offences was 67 per cent, having been 80 per cent in the beginning of the 2000s. Due to the manner of disclosure, cases of driving while intoxicated, traffic offences and offences involving intoxicating substances almost all become solved.

Table 5. Clearance rate of certain types of offences in 1986-2020

  1986 - 1990 1991 - 1995 1996 - 2000 2001 - 2005 2006 - 2010 2011 - 2015 2016 - 2019 2020
Offences against the Criminal Code 69 58 57 63 67 63 61 58
Theft 28:1 25 17 14 15 18 15 15 15
Aggravated theft 28:2 39 29 40 41 38 34 33 38
Petty theft 28:3 78 70 67 58 57 56 52 54
Robberies total 53 43 42 45 49 53 54 55
Damages to property total 29 27 27 26 25 22 23 24
Attempted manslaughter, murder or killing 95 91 92 94 97 92 90 95
Assault 21:5 79 74 76 80 81 76 65 69
Aggravated assault 21:6 85 84 83 87 88 84 79 82
Petty assault 21:7 95 86 79 75 73 72 61 59
Sexual abuse of a child 91 84 88 82 86 75 60 55
Rape 63 56 57 63 66 70 65 83

The lowest clearance rates for offences against the Criminal Code were found in the Eastern Uusimaa and Helsinki police departments. On the other hand, most offences were reported to the Helsinki police department, 92,900 cases. This is some 17,000 more than to the Central Finland police department, which recorded second most offences.

Figure 7. Clearance rate of offences against the Criminal Code after authorities 2018 to 2020

Figure 7. Clearance rate of offences against the Criminal Code after authorities 2018 to 2020

Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2020, Offences reported. Statistics Finland

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

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 12.5.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. 13 2020, 1. Review on offences recorded by the police, customs and border guard . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 7.8.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2020/13/rpk_2020_13_2021-05-12_kat_001_en.html