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

1.1. Summary

In 2015, a total of 413,200 offences were recorded by the police, customs and border guard in the whole country, which is 4,700 (1.1 per cent) fewer than one year before. The number of offences reported has fallen from 2011, when 458,300 offences were reported. Over the year, 236,500 offences were solved, while the corresponding figure was 236,700 one year previously.

The vast majority of the offences was recorded by the police. A total of 12,700 offences were recorded by the customs and border guard, which was 3.1 per cent of all offences reported to the authorities. A total of 8,000 offences were recorded by the customs, which was 8.3 per cent lower than one year before. A total of 4,700 offences were recorded by the border guard, which was 5.4 per cent fewer than one year before. Around one-quarter of the offences recorded by the customs and border guard were alcohol offences or minor alcohol offences and narcotics offences.

Examined by region, the number of offences increased in the regions of Åland (+13.8%), Kanta-Häme (+6.0%), Pirkanmaa (+5.2%), Central Finland (+4.9%), Ostrobothnia (+3.3%), Varsinais-Suomi (+2.6%), and Pohjois-Savo (+2.6%). The number of offences fell most in relative terms in the region of South Karelia, by 13.2 per cent from the year before.

Relative to the population, the highest numbers of offences were recorded in the regions of Kymenlaakso and Päijät-Häme. In the whole country, 7,552 offences per 100,000 population were recorded while the corresponding figure in 2014 was 7,666.

Figure 1. Offences by region per 100,000 population in 2015

Figure 1. Offences by region per 100,000 population in 2015

Identity theft was added to the Penal Code on 4 September 2015. During 2015, altogether 518 identity thefts were recorded.

1.2. Offences against property

In 2015, a total of 236,300 offences against property were recorded, which was 2.1 per cent lower than the year before. Among offences against property, theft offences (theft Penal Code, Section 28, Paragraph 1, aggravated theft Section 28, Paragraph 2, and petty theft Section 28, Paragraph 3) formed the biggest group. In all, 138,300 of them were reported, which was 3.4 per cent fewer than one year previously. The number of theft offences has mainly been falling throughout the 2000s. The number of thefts (Penal Code, Section 28, Paragraph 1) recorded in 2015 was 69,100, or 2.5 per cent fewer than one year before. The recorded number of aggravated thefts (Penal Code, Section 28, Paragraph 2) was 3,500, which was 3.8 per cent fewer than in 2014. The number of petty thefts (Penal Code, Section 28, Paragraph 3) recorded was 65,700, which was 4.3 per cent lower than in 2014. One-third (47,700) of all theft offences were thefts and petty thefts from shops. Compared with 2014, the number of thefts from shops fell by 3.5 per cent.

The number of burglaries (thefts, aggravated thefts or petty thefts through unlawful breaking in) reported was 34,100, which was 0.4 per cent more than in 2014. The number of break-ins into free-time residences decreased by 8.5 per cent. A total of 1,700 of them were reported in 2015. Breaking into residences went down by 4.9 per cent from the previous year. A total of 4,300 of them were recorded. Breaking into a motor vehicle increased by 2.0 per cent.

Figure 2. Burglaries 2015

Figure 2. Burglaries 2015

Good one-sixth of property offences were damage to property. In all, 37,600 of them were recorded, which was 11.5 per cent lower than in 2014. The number of damages to property has been on the decline for a few past years. Good one-half of damage to property were committed in public places.

The number of frauds (fraud Penal Code, Section 36, Paragraph 1, petty fraud Section 36, Paragraph 2, aggravated fraud Section 36, Paragraph 3) recorded was 26,100, which was 11.0 per cent more than in 2014. Frauds make up around one-tenth of offences against property. In all, 10,900 means of payment frauds were recorded, which was 40.4 per cent more than in 2014. The number of both frauds and means of payment frauds has been growing over the past ten years.

In 2015, a total of 1,300 accounting and debtor offences were recorded, which was 5.5 per cent less than in the previous year. Forgery offences (forgery, petty forgery, aggravated forgery, possession of forgery materials Penal Code, Section 33, Paragraphs 1 to 4) recorded was 2,700, which was 17.6 per cent down on 2014. The number of recorded forgery offences has been declining almost throughout the 2000s. In 2010, a total of 4,600 of them were recoded and in 2000 a total of 6,200.

The number of robberies reported was 1,550, which was 8.2 per cent fewer than in 2014. Of the robbery offences, 1,100, or 70.7 per cent, took place in a public place. Of the robberies, 17.2 per cent were aggravated.

Figure 3. Offences against property 2015 (In total 236,323 offences)

Figure 3. Offences against property 2015 (In total 236,323 offences)

Table 1. Selected offences against property by region per 100,000 population in 2015

Region All offences against property Burglaries Unauthorised thefts of a motor vehicle Robberies Damages to property Embezz- lements Frauds, means of payment frauds
Whole country 4,319 623 136 28 688 53 676
Uusimaa 5,514 697 152 41 870 73 685
Varsinais-Suomi 4,208 731 149 30 541 58 605
Satakunta 3,347 598 118 25 671 41 401
Kanta-Häme 3,803 618 150 29 622 41 614
Pirkanmaa 4,350 679 136 29 753 41 598
Päijät-Häme 4,436 854 146 25 647 52 723
Kymenlaakso 4,249 686 202 26 684 49 603
South Karelia 3,291 505 122 25 563 42 454
Etelä-Savo 3,069 696 122 15 544 31 399
Pohjois-Savo 3,102 387 105 20 578 43 495
North Karelia 2,856 295 74 12 562 38 467
Central Finland 3,809 616 93 19 627 42 723
South Ostrobothnia 2,062 320 54 6 350 55 346
Ostrobothnia 3,529 571 144 21 708 23 395
Central Ostrobothnia 2,125 251 36 4 485 32 251
North Ostrobothnia 3,879 530 167 29 590 47 696
Kainuu 2,791 242 64 9 607 39 426
Lapland 3,792 748 164 19 623 40 439
Åland 3,178 661 76 3 723 31 228

1.3. Offences against the person

In 2015, a total of 32,900 assault offences (assault, petty assault, aggravated assault) were recorded, which was close on 1,000 cases (2.9 per cent) more than in 2014. Aggravated assaults decreased by 5.0 per cent compared to the previous year. The number recorded was 1,560. Over the past ten years (2006 to 2015), 34,700 assaults, on average, have been reported yearly. The law reform, 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, 40,200 assault offences were recorded.

The recorded number of offences against life was 96. This was five cases fewer than in 2014. The annual average for the past ten years is 109. The corresponding figure was 137 between 1996 and 2005. The number of attempted manslaughters, murders or killings fell by 28. A total of 299 of them were recorded. When recording an offence, the line between attempted manslaughter and aggravated assault is open to interpretation, which may have an effect on the level changes visible in the statistics.

A total of 1,052 rapes (rape, aggravated rape,rape, paragraph 3) were recorded, which was 4.3 per cent more than in 2014. From 2006 to 2015, an average of 880  rapes were reported per year. The recorded number of sexual exploitations of a child was 1,230, which was 13.1 per cent fewer than in the year before. A total of 283 cases of sexual abuse were reported. The recorded numbers of rapes and sexual exploitations of a child vary much yearly. Individual reports may include a series of incidents comprising several criminal acts.

In 2015, 43 per cent of offences against the person and 39 per cent of assault offences were committed in private dwellings. In all, 18.7 per cent of rape offences were committed in public places. In 2014, the corresponding share was 13.3 per cent and in 2009, 23.5 per cent of rape offences were committed in public places. In total, 45.6 per cent of sexual abuse took place in a public place.

Table 2. Selected violent offences by region per 100,000 population in 2015

Region Manslaughter, murder, killing and their attempts Assault Aggravated assault Petty assault Rape offences
Whole country 7 417 28 173 19
Uusimaa 5 489 24 185 23
Varsinais-Suomi 3 333 21 192 15
Satakunta 5 358 35 150 14
Kanta-Häme 12 298 31 169 14
Pirkanmaa 7 396 32 164 25
Päijät-Häme 8 362 33 142 13
Kymenlaakso 10 430 33 157 22
South Karelia 8 285 17 176 15
Etelä-Savo 10 338 21 208 13
Pohjois-Savo 6 382 25 283 19
North Karelia 9 335 45 222 9
Central Finland 9 487 33 160 20
South Ostrobothnia 7 335 26 83 11
Ostrobothnia 8 374 35 90 13
Central Ostrobothnia 4 469 26 114 14
North Ostrobothnia 8 431 26 123 16
Kainuu 6 537 32 285 12
Lapland 8 413 41 183 15
Åland - 563 31 86 31

1.4. Victims of violent offences

Nearly 40 per cent of assault offences were committed in private dwellings. Over one-half of assaults of women and one-quarter of those of men were made in private dwellings. Close on 45 per cent of assaults of men and good one-fifth of those of women took place in a public place. Good ten per cent of assaults were made in restaurants.

Figure 4. Assault offences by scene and victim’s sex in 2015 (Total 33,874 offences)

Figure 4. Assault offences by scene and victim’s sex in 2015 (Total 33,874 offences)

Victims of violent offences recorded in 2015 numbered 37,400, which was 1.8  per cent more than in 2014. Of the victims, 21,400 (57.2 per cent) were men and 16,000 (42.8 per cent) women. The number of male victims was 2.4 per cent and that of female ones 1.2 per cent higher than in 2014. A total of 33,100 persons were victims of assault offences (Penal Code, Section 21, Paragraphs 5 to 7), 19,600 (59.2 per cent) of them men and 13,500 (40.8 per cent) women. Information on victims is obtained reliably only on certain violent offences.

Altogether 4,300 (13.1 per cent) of the victims of assault offences were aged 18 to 21. There were 4,600 (13.8 per cent) victims aged over 50. Assault offences directed at children aged under 18 increased by 17.9 per cent from the year before. The number of child victims was now 5,900. This is 17.8 per cent of all victims of assault offences. Of child victims of assault offences, 3,800 (63.8 per cent) were boys and 2,100 (36.2 per cent) girls. Among the child victims of assault offences, 37.2 per cent were aged under ten, 32.9 were aged 10 to 14, and 29.9 per cent were aged 15 to 17. Of the 1,100 victims of sexual abuse as a child, 87.4 per cent were girls and 12.6 per cent boys.

Figure 5. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2015

Figure 5. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2015

1.5. Offences involving intoxicating substances

In all, 23,400 narcotics offences were recorded in 2015, which was 1,600 cases (7.4 per cent) more than in 2014. The number of aggravated narcotics offences went down by 7.8 per cent from the previous year. A total of 1,070 of them were recorded. The number of narcotics abuse offences grew most in absolute numbers, by 10.9 per cent. The recorded number was 15,200, which was 1,500 cases more than in 2014.

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 2012–2015 (Total 23,400 offences)

Figure 6. Narcotics offences in 2012–2015 (Total 23,400 offences)

The recorded number of alcohol offences and minor alcohol offences was 3,200, which was 500 cases, or 13.3 per cent lower than in 2014.

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 the police or customs and border guard officials and the majority of the offences remain undisclosed.


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2015, Offences reported. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 22.3.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. Reported offences, 1st quarter 2015, 1. Review on offences recorded by the police, customs and border guard . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.10.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2015/13/rpk_2015_13_2016-03-22_kat_001_en.html