Published: 26 February 2021

Number of coercive measures performed went up by 3 per cent

According to Statistics Finland's data, the police, customs and border guard used coercive measures 201,100 times in 2020, which is 6,200 coercive measures (3 per cent) more than in the year before. The share of searches of premises was 23 per cent and that of confiscations 12 per cent higher than in the year before. Apprehensions based on the Police Act decreased most in numbers.

Coercive measures of the police, customs and border guard in 2010 to 2020

Coercive measures of the police, customs and border guard in 2010 to 2020

In 2020, the police used coercive measures 195,600 times. This is 97.3 per cent of all coercive measures used. The number of coercive measures used by the police went up by four per cent from the previous year. The customs used coercive measures 4,100 times and the border guard 1,400 times. The number of coercive measures used by the customs fell by 14 per cent and by the border guard by 31 per cent. The shares of customs and the border guard were low in all the most significant coercive measure groups. The customs and the border guard performed around 10 per cent of confiscations.

Coercive measures against freedom

In 2020, a total of 22,800 apprehensions were made, which is 200 cases (0.8 per cent) more than in the year before. The number of arrests was 8,900, up by 200 cases (2.1 per cent) from one year earlier. The number of apprehensions was 2,010, which is 50 cases (2.9 per cent) fewer than in 2019. Altogether, 570 travel bans were enforced, which is the same as in 2019.

At the beginning of 2016, a coercive measure concerning detention of foreigners entered into force. A total of 880 detentions of foreigners were recorded in 2020, which is 31.8 per cent lower than in the year before. The most common reason for the detention of a foreigner was that a foreigner would hinder the preparation and enforcement of decision-making concerning him or her by hiding or running or in some other way. This was the basis for around 1,600 cases. Another common reason for the detention was that a foreigner was suspected of a crime and the detention was necessary to ensure the preparation or enforcement of the decision to deport from the country. This reason was used around 1,300 times. One coercive measure can contain several grounds, so the number of grounds is higher than the number of actual coercive measures. Altogether 5,700 grounds were used in 880 detentions of foreigners last year. The detention of a foreigner is not necessarily criminally based, but a foreigner can be detained without suspicion of a crime.

The number of intoxicated persons taken into custody has fallen in recent years. A total of 45,800 intoxicated persons were taken into custody in 2020. This is 3,300 cases (6.7 per cent) fewer than in 2019. Taking intoxicated persons into custody is a coercive measure based on the Police Act, where the object of the coercive measure is usually not suspected of an offence but the coercive measure is used to ensure the safety of the person or his or her environment.

Coercive measures against freedom by sex in 2020

Coercive measures against freedom by sex in 2020

A majority of coercive measures against freedom were directed at Finnish citizens. Apprehensions based on the Police Act are often taking intoxicated persons into custody, but this group also includes other temporary apprehensions to ensure that domestic or public premises are not invaded. Information on nationality is based on Statistics Finland’s register data. If there are no register data, police records are used.

Coercive measures against freedom by nationality 2019 and 2020

  Total Apprehension based on the Police Act Apprehension Arrest Remand Detention of a foreigner
2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020
Total 83,771 80,369 49,063 45,760 22,601 22,781 8,752 8,931 2,058 2,013 1,297 884
Finland 70,818 69,977 44,319 41,761 18,041 19,086 6,950 7,572 1,508 1,558 - -
Estonia 3,053 2,772 1,265 1,080 1,199 1,153 317 275 81 82 191 182
Romania 1,140 881 243 143 367 338 286 202 93 61 151 137
Russia 902 696 384 369 272 215 158 62 33 16 55 34
Iraq 872 764 323 288 319 260 134 124 43 32 53 60
Somalia 703 677 473 439 142 154 49 53 17 13 22 18
Sweden 567 510 281 272 195 147 62 66 20 19 9 6
Gambia 368 191 13 23 182 98 55 21 11 6 107 43
Afghanistan 361 257 158 106 109 76 34 33 10 9 50 33
Latvia 351 347 147 133 135 118 43 54 8 28 18 14
Belarus 314 110 22 3 131 54 73 19 16 3 72 31
Lithuania 299 261 79 65 108 82 60 57 21 33 31 24
Ukraine 267 142 62 41 106 68 48 15 14 1 37 17
Without citizenship 240 181 71 49 98 72 26 20 4 11 41 29
Poland 184 103 87 52 57 35 19 10 7 3 14 3
Iran 171 110 30 41 83 39 23 19 4 7 31 4
Unknown 168 99 113 60 38 24 5 5 2 - 10 10
Georgia 150 110 12 6 74 45 14 18 8 6 42 35
Morocco 133 100 54 40 35 35 10 9 5 3 29 13
Bulgaria 131 74 42 23 47 23 26 17 7 5 9 6
Nigeria 122 93 18 10 50 40 12 14 3 3 39 26
Syria 122 86 29 27 59 37 18 17 3 4 13 1
Albania 114 36 5 3 37 6 23 14 20 10 29 3
Turkey 112 111 19 19 57 55 18 11 4 3 14 23
Other 2,109 1,681 814 707 660 521 289 224 116 97 230 132

Other coercive measures

At the beginning of 2014, new coercive measures came into force: search of data contained in a device and search of premises. A search of data contained in a device refers to a search directed to the data content contained in a computer, a terminal end device or in another corresponding technical device or information system. In 2020, altogether 7,700 searches of data contained in a device were performed, which is 13.8 per cent more than in the previous year. A search of premises refers to a search conducted elsewhere than in a public place but not a domicile. Searches of premises numbered 9,700, most of which were carried out to find an object or property to be confiscated or to clarify an offence. Compared with the previous year, 23.2 per cent more searches of premises were performed.

The number of bodily searches and physical examinations and possible confiscations related to them grew by 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Their number was 31,000 in 2020. Physical examinations were done to determine the DNA profile of a suspect and to detect consumption of alcohol or other narcotics. Altogether, 32,700 confiscations were recorded, which is 11.5 per cent more than in the year before. House searches and confiscations made in their connection numbered 11,900, which was 11.2 per cent lower than in 2020. The number of house searches and confiscations made in their connection has decreased considerably compared to 2013 as part of them are now recorded as searches of premises or searches of data contained in a device.

The number of enforced restraining orders continued to fall. Altogether, 1,100 restraining orders were enforced in 2020, which is 1.2 per cent fewer than one year earlier and 14 per cent fewer than in 2018.

A total of 27,100 coercive measures were directed to women, being 13.5 per cent of all coercive measures. Women's shares were small in all types of coercive measures. Of the coercive measures directed to women, 24 per cent were taking intoxicated persons into custody and nearly 16 per cent were physical examinations and confiscations. Close on nine per cent of coercive measures were not directed to a person but, for example, to legal persons or premises.

Examinations to detect narcotics use have increased

In all, 5,300 examinations of state of intoxication with a precision breathalyser were recorded in 2020, which was 1,300 cases (19.7 per cent) fewer than in 2019. The number of examinations of state of intoxication with a blood test was 16,900 in 2020, which was 2,900 cases (20.5 per cent) more than in 2019. Examinations of state of intoxication in order to detect narcotics use increased by 30.9 per cent and examinations to determine the blood alcohol level increased by 10.3 per cent from 2015.

Investigations of drunken driving in 2013 to 2020

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Breath alcohol 9,597 8,528 8,206 7,790 7,369 7,638 6,562 5,270
Request to examine state of intoxication 11,000 11,345 11,538 11,662 12,456 13,554 14,051 16,926
Of which                
...Blood alcohol 7,669 7,228 6,705 6,578 6,493 6,678 6,710 7,401
...Narcotics 4,504 5,254 6,123 6,555 7,665 8,742 9,221 12,074
...Consumption after driving 1,899 1,734 1,644 1,461 1,365 1,386 1,499 1,473
...Theoretical statement on state of intoxication 344 261 237 199 192 184 190 191
...Alcohol back calculation 1,051 882 778 692 604 596 591 561

The database tables describing coercive measures were reviewed in connection with the release on 28 February 2019. They contain further information on the duration of apprehensions, arrests and detentions as well as more detailed information on the grounds for coercive measures.


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2020. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kimmo Haapakangas 029 551 3252, Pekka Hänninen 029 551 2606, rikos@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

Publication in pdf-format (242.4 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 26.2.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. 14 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2020/14/rpk_2020_14_2021-02-26_tie_001_en.html