Published: 26 September 2018

Number of petty fines issued per cent higher than one year previously

According to Statistics Finland's data, 22 per cent more petty fines were issued in 2017 than one year earlier. The number of petty fines amounted to around 330,600 in total. Of them, 83 per cent were a result of camera surveillance. The number of petty fines issued based on camera surveillance was 54 per cent higher than in 2016. Nearly one-half of the petty fines issued in 2017 amounted to EUR 170.

Petty fines 2007–2017, number

Petty fines 2007–2017, number

The district courts issued 51,860 sentences in 2017. Fines passed by district courts decreased by nearly two per cent from one year earlier, amounting to 35,660 (incl. fines and petty fines sentenced in court, supplementary day fines and disciplinary fines). Twenty per cent of day fines passed by district courts were caused by drunken driving, 13 per cent by petty thefts and 11 per cent by assaults. The majority of disciplinary fines passed in addition to conditional imprisonment, 93 per cent, were caused by aggravated drunken driving. Fines by a summary penal order were sentenced 41,570 times. The number of fine orders issued by the police was 87,390. About 43 per cent of summary penal orders and fine orders were caused by endangerment of traffic safety. Altogether, 14 per cent fewer summary penal orders and fine orders for endangerment of traffic safety were issued in 2017 than in 2016. The vast majority of the petty fines, 94 per cent, were results of traffic offences. The number of petty fines issued for traffic offences was 20 per cent higher in 2017 than one year before.

Fines sentenced by courts of first instance, summary penal orders, fine orders and petty in 2005 to 2017, number

Fines sentenced by courts of first instance, summary penal orders, fine orders and petty in 2005 to 2017, number

The accrual of fines for all punishments of fines (incl. fines and petty fines sentenced in court, supplementary day fines and disciplinary fines) was in total over EUR 101.8 million in 2017, over three per cent more than a year ago. Over 60,000 more petty fines were issued and the accrual of fines was EUR 51.3 million, 22 per cent higher than in 2016. The accrual of fines for summary penal orders was EUR 10.6 million and that of fine orders EUR 22.6 million. The accrual of fines sentenced in courts of first instance in 2017 was three per cent lower than a year ago. In total, courts of first instance issued fines to the value of EUR 17.3 million.

Total accrual of fines for fines sentenced by courts of first instance, summary penal orders and fine orders and petty fines in 2005 to 2017, EUR

Total accrual of fines for fines sentenced by courts of first instance, summary penal orders and fine orders and petty fines in 2005 to 2017, EUR

Imprisonment sentences numbered nearly 19,000

In 2017, a total of 5,255 sentences of unconditional imprisonment were passed. Eight of these were sentences of life imprisonment and 443 were sentences where previous unconditional imprisonment was regarded as a sufficient sanction. Fifty-nine sentences of fixed-term unconditional imprisonment of eight years or longer were passed. Forty-six per cent of them were sentences for manslaughter and 27 per cent for narcotics offences. Thirty-eight per cent of all unconditional imprisonment sentences were for under three months. Of them, 41 per cent were results of traffic offences, 32 per cent of property offences and 10 per cent of offences against life and health. The average unconditional imprisonment was 11.8 months in duration.

Imprisonment in 1980 to 2017, number

Imprisonment in 1980 to 2017, number

Unconditional imprisonment of at most six months can be passed as a monitoring sentence. In 2017, a total of 192 unconditional imprisonment sentences were converted into monitoring sentences and they had the average duration of 3.1 months.

Unconditional imprisonment of under eight months can be sentenced as community service if it is not caused by refusing military or civil military service or a civil military service offence. Thirty-one per cent of all convertible unconditional imprisonment sentences were converted into community service in 2017. Community service was clearly used most when passing a sentence for drunken driving. The average duration of community service was 97 hours.

Altogether 12,205 sentences of conditional imprisonment were passed in 2017, over four per cent fewer than one year earlier. The duration of conditional imprisonment was 4.4 months, on average. Around 37 per cent of sentences of conditional imprisonment were caused by aggravated drunken driving. The second most sentences of conditional imprisonment were passed for assaults.


Source: Prosecutions, sentences and punishments 2017, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Salla Tuominiemi 029 551 3242, rikos@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 26.9.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Prosecutions, sentences and punishments [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-1679. 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.2.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/syyttr/2017/syyttr_2017_2018-09-26_tie_001_en.html