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2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences

2.1. Injured parties and victims of offences

In the statistics, the victim of an offence and the injured party are not necessarily the same person. For example, in assaults directed at minors the actual victim of the offence is a child, but his or her guardian is usually recorded as the injured party.

In 2020, a total of 543,400 offences against the Criminal Code were reported. For them, 351,900 persons and 116,900 enterprises or legal persons were recorded as injured parties. Not all offences necessarily have an injured party.

Figure 8. Complainants of offences against the criminal code by age in 2006 to 2020

Figure 8. Complainants of offences against the criminal code by age in 2006 to 2020

In the 2010s, the number of persons as injured parties of offences against the Criminal Code has varied between 312,100 (in 2011) and 280,200 (in 2018). In recent years, the number of injured parties aged under 15 has grown most. Compared with 2010, the number of injured parties in the age group has grown by 5,100 cases (42 per cent). The growth is mainly caused by offences against life and health. The change may be caused by the amendment to the Child Welfare Act that entered into force in 2015. The same legislative amendment may also explain the increase in the number of injured parties aged 30 to 39.

Compared to 2019, the growth was especially high among injured parties aged 21 to 64. This growth is partly due to the growing number of extortions and disseminations of information violating personal privacy.

The age distribution of both male and female injured parties has developed in a fairly similar fashion. On the other hand, compared with 2011, the number of male injured parties has grown by 1,500 (0.8 per cent), but the number of female injured parties has grown by 38,300 (29.6 per cent).

Compared with 2011, the share of male injured parties of all injured parties has fallen in all regions. In relative terms, the share of men has fallen most in the regions of Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa and Uusimaa.

Table 6. Complainants of offences against the crimimal code by sex and region in 2011 and 2020 count and percent

  count %
Male Female Male Female
2011 2020 2011 2020 2011 2020 2011 2020
Uusimaa 59,093 64,382 43,946 61,643 57.4 51.1 42.6 48.9
Southwest Finland 16,269 14,559 11,210 14,576 59.2 50.0 40.8 50.0
Satakunta 8,290 9,397 5,689 8,290 59.3 53.1 40.7 46.9
Kanta-Hme 4,466 4,636 3,361 4,006 57.1 53.6 42.9 46.4
Pirkanmaa 13,303 16,514 9,669 16,086 57.9 50.7 42.1 49.3
Pijt-Hme 6,843 6,990 4,845 6,281 58.5 52.7 41.5 47.3
Kymenlaakso 6,317 5,535 4,510 4,875 58.3 53.2 41.7 46.8
South Karelia 4,073 4,009 2,868 3,544 58.7 53.1 41.3 46.9
South Savo 5,486 3,946 3,592 3,262 60.4 54.7 39.6 45.3
North Savo 8,039 6,875 5,269 5,697 60.4 54.7 39.6 45.3
North Karelia 4,915 4,096 3,213 3,459 60.5 54.2 39.5 45.8
Central Finland 8,583 9,047 5,985 7,554 58.9 54.5 41.1 45.5
South Ostrobothnia 4,931 4,159 3,512 3,595 58.4 53.6 41.6 46.4
Ostrobothnia 4,705 4,858 3,120 3,674 60.1 56.9 39.9 43.1
Central Ostrobothnia 2,160 1,607 1,550 1,430 58.2 52.9 41.8 47.1
North Ostrobothnia 13,160 12,299 8,936 10,051 59.6 55.0 40.4 45.0
Kainuu 2,824 2,476 1,806 1,757 61.0 58.5 39.0 41.5
Lapland 6,135 5,132 4,123 4,041 59.8 55.9 40.2 44.1
land 977 736 703 545 58.2 57.5 41.8 42.5
Whole country 182,679 184,159 129,439 167,709 58.5 52.3 41.5 47.7
Enterprises

Slightly under one-half of the enterprises registered as injured parties operate in the main industry of wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (TOL2008 G). Other industries with a higher share are financial and insurance activities, public administration and real estate activities. The Business ID has been in use in the data received by Statistics Finland only for a few years, but its use is becoming more common. This may explain the large annual variations.

Enterprises are injured parties mainly in offences against property, but different types of offences against property are directed at different main industries. The share of wholesale and retail trade is manifestly high (67 per cent) in theft offences, especially in thefts and petty thefts from shops. In damages to property, the injured party is most commonly a real estate enterprise (30 per cent).

Victims

In 2020, there were 67,900 victims of recorded offences, which is 30.8 per cent more than in in the year before. The growth is due to the large number of reported extortions. Of the victims, 32,200 were men and 35,700 women. The number of male victims grew by 17.1 per cent and that of female victims by 46.1 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.

Around 55 per cent of victims belong to the age group 15 to 39. Of the victims, 17 per cent were minors, which is five percentage points fewer than in the year before. For men, the share of minors decreased slightly less 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 women, the share of minors has risen from around 18 to 20 per cent, but in 2020 the share fell to 15 per cent.

Of the victims of assault offences 8.1 per cent (2,700) were aged 18 to 20. Male victims are 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, 43 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. Around 90 per cent of the victims of sexual abuse of a child are girls and approximately 95 per cent of rape victims are female.

Figure 9. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2020

Figure 9. Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2020

In solved offences, where, in addition to the victim, the suspect is also known, the victim was of Finnish background in 92 per cent of cases (Table 7). This is 0.8 percentage points lower than one year earlier. In 93.8 per cent of sexual offences, the victim was of Finnish background. This is 0.9 percentage points lower than in the year before.

Of the suspects, 88.7 per cent were of Finnish background, which is 0.1 percentage points lower than in the previous year. In sexual offences, the share of suspects of Finnish background grew by 5.5 percentage points to 78.3 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 81.3 per cent. The share is 6.5 percentage points higher than in 2019.

In 2020, the share of suspects with foreign background of offences against victims of foreign background was 44.9 per cent, while it was 47.9 one year earlier.

Table 7. Victims of certain solved offences by origin and person suspected by origin 2020

Victim's origin/offence Person suspected origin
Origins total Person with Finnish background total Person with foreign background total
Origins total Total 16,490 14,626 1,864
Assault offences 10,816 9,570 1,246
Sexual offences exc 821 643 178
Other offences 4,853 4,413 440
Person with Finnish background total Total 15,168 13,897 1,271
Assault offences 9,873 9,065 808
Sexual offences exc 770 626 144
Other offences 4,525 4,206 319
Person with foreign background total Total 1,322 729 593
Assault offences 943 505 438
Sexual offences exc 51 17 34
Other offences 328 207 121

2.2 Persons suspected of solved offences

About 30 per cent of suspects are suspected of several offences

Of the 313,400 offences against the Criminal Code solved in 2020, a total of 339,700 persons were suspects, which is around 13 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, 273,200 were men, which is 13.5 per cent more than in the year before. The number of female suspects increased by 11.3 per cent. They numbered 66,500. Of those suspect of offences against the Criminal Code, 19.6 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 139,400 suspects of offences against the Criminal Code. So, one person was a suspect in 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 to 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, driving while intoxicated and damages to property are 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 per cent, were suspects of only one offence against the Criminal Code in 2020. The corresponding figure was 69.4 per cent in the previous year. In all, 14.3 per cent were suspects of two offences. Of the suspects, 16.7 per cent were suspected of more than two offences.

Figure 10. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2020, %

Figure 10. Persons suspected of offences against the Criminal Code by number of offences in 2020, %

Tables 8 and 9 show the suspects of offences against the Criminal Code by age group relative to the population. Examined according to 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 8. Suspects of solved offences against the Criminal Code by age and sex, principal offence rule in 2011-2020, share per 1,000 population

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Total 33 31 30 28 27 25 23 23 23 25
0 - 14 9 7 6 5 5 6 6 6 6 7
15 - 17 64 55 52 49 47 43 44 43 43 54
18 - 20 93 88 86 80 78 76 71 75 74 85
21 - 24 71 67 66 62 61 57 54 56 54 63
Male Total 52 48 46 44 43 40 36 37 35 40
0 - 14 12 10 9 8 8 8 9 8 9 10
15 - 17 96 84 80 77 72 65 69 67 67 85
18 - 20 139 131 129 119 118 115 110 115 114 129
21 - 24 110 104 101 95 94 87 83 87 82 96
Female Total 15 14 13 13 12 12 10 10 10 11
0 - 14 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 4
15 - 17 31 25 23 20 20 19 18 17 17 22
18 - 20 45 44 42 39 37 34 31 34 33 39
21 - 24 31 29 30 28 27 26 24 24 24 28

Table 9. Suspects of solved offences against the Criminal Code by age and sex in 2011-2020, share per 1,000 population

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Total 69 64 62 59 58 57 54 54 54 61
0 - 14 14 11 10 9 8 8 9 9 10 11
15 - 17 126 109 103 98 91 84 82 80 83 99
18 - 20 214 201 198 185 185 180 199 178 175 200
21 - 24 175 167 165 152 156 152 148 156 154 178
Male Total 115 106 102 97 95 92 89 88 88 100
0 - 14 20 15 14 13 12 12 14 12 14 16
15 - 17 202 177 167 161 149 134 134 128 134 162
18 - 20 340 320 314 290 293 279 332 284 272 312
21 - 24 279 268 261 241 250 239 234 246 237 275
Female Total 26 23 24 23 23 22 20 21 21 24
0 - 14 8 6 5 4 4 4 5 5 5 6
15 - 17 47 39 37 33 31 31 28 29 30 34
18 - 20 82 77 77 76 72 76 60 65 71 81
21 - 24 67 62 64 60 58 60 58 61 66 75

Of all suspects of offences and infractions, seven 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, 11 per cent were under the influence of alcohol and 12 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 32 per cent were under the influence of alcohol, while in 2006 the corresponding share was 60 per cent.

2.3 Nationality and origin

In 2020, there were 33,800 foreign citizens suspected of offences against the Criminal Code. This is close on 500 (1.5 per cent) fewer than in 2019. The number of Finnish suspects was 39,900 (15 per cent) higher than in the year before. Of the foreign suspects, 62.6 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. The share is 7.6 percentage points higher than in the year before.

In Mainland Finland, the proportion of foreigners among suspects was highest in the region of Uusimaa The share of foreigners was 18.1 per cent. The next highest shares of foreigners were found in South Karelia, 12.6 per cent, and Ostrobothnia, 10 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 11. 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 2020

Figure 11. 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 2020

The biggest group of foreigners suspected of offences against the Criminal Code were Estonian. They numbered 9,500, which is 600 more than in 2019. Other countries, from where over 1,000 citizens were suspects, were Iraq (3,500), Russia (2,800), Sweden (1,800), Romania (1,500) and Somalia (1,200). For example, compared with the year before, the number of Iraqis increased by 11.1 per cent and that of Russians decreased by 38.2 per cent. The number of Swedes went down by one per cent and that of Romanians by 4.1 per cent.

Of Romanians, 31.6 per cent were permanently resident in Finland. Of Russian suspects, 53.3 per cent had a permanent place of residence in Finland. Just over one-half of Estonians resided permanently in Finland. Of Somalis, 93.9 per cent and 74.8 per cent of Iraqis resided permanently in Finland. The share of foreign suspects permanently resident in Finland grew to 62.6 per cent while it was 55.1 per cent in 2019.

In all, 89 per cent of foreign suspects were men. Of Finnish suspects, 79 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 47 per cent under 30.

Origin

Of the suspects of offences against the Criminal Code, 293,600 (86.4 per cent) were of Finnish background. Compared with the previous year, the share of suspects with Finnish background grew by one percentage point. Some 96 per cent of the suspects with Finnish background were born in Finland.

There were 37,200 suspects with foreign background (10.9 per cent). Eleven per cent of suspects with foreign background were born in Finland. The share of suspects with foreign background who were born in Finland has increased by around seven percentage points in ten years.

The share of suspects with eastern European origin among foreign suspects has decreased in ten years from 26 to 17 per cent. Correspondingly, the share of people with Northern European origin has risen from 19 to 23 per cent. The share of people with Western Asian background has risen from good 11 per cent to slightly under 17 per cent.

Table 10. Persons suspected of offences against criminal code with foreign background by background country 2009-2020

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total 23,560 25,539 27,448 27,968 27,368 28,430 29,073 29,238 28,895 31,098 31,897 37,166
Northern Africa 957 1,197 1,231 1,162 965 1,039 1,052 997 1,104 1,025 1,015 1,198
Sub-Saharan Africa 3,349 3,534 3,782 3,454 3,750 4,367 4,617 4,578 3,998 4,141 4,234 5,280
America 477 505 504 504 456 509 519 556 553 487 438 511
Eastern Asia 302 187 400 328 194 237 212 195 160 187 227 202
Western Asia 2,678 2,758 2,971 3,047 3,218 3,419 3,610 3,734 4,066 4,761 5,263 6,294
South-eastern Asia and Oceania 985 904 935 1,049 1,143 1,035 961 1,128 913 958 931 1,067
Eastern Europe 6,107 5,919 6,304 6,381 5,913 5,932 6,033 5,853 5,945 5,943 5,983 6,467
Northern Europe 4,417 5,924 6,405 6,758 6,538 6,483 6,445 6,570 6,637 7,777 7,758 8,590
Southern Europe 1,665 1,548 1,507 1,543 1,490 1,527 1,536 1,394 1,393 1,394 1,317 1,760
Western Europe 2,234 2,515 2,590 2,771 2,492 2,509 2,496 2,537 2,625 2,786 2,781 3,236
Unknown 389 548 819 971 1,209 1,373 1,592 1,696 1,501 1,639 1,950 2,561

There were 8,900 (2.6 per cent) suspects of unknown origin in total. The share of those with unknown origin has remained more or less the same, but the absolute number has shrunk.

In 2019, a total of 7.7 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 to 59 per cent in ten years.

Female suspects have slightly higher income than male suspects. Of them, 50.5 per cent belonged to the three lowest income deciles in 2020, while the corresponding figure for men was 61.3 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 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, 2. Victims of offences and persons suspected of solved offences . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.7.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2020/13/rpk_2020_13_2021-05-12_kat_002_en.html