Police agencies and responsibilities

Police agencies include the National Police Board, local police departments, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Police University College and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service.

The National Police Board directs the activities of the police

The National Police Board directs and guides operational police activities. It plans, develops, directs and supervises police activities and the related support functions. The National Police Board is responsible for ensuring equal access to police services and equal quality of service throughout the country.

It is based in Helsinki, but has offices for Gambling and Firearms Administration in Riihimäki and Private Security Sector Supervision in Mikkeli. The Board is headed by the National Police Commissioner.

Local police departments and national police units – the National Bureau of Investigation and the Police University College – operate under the National Police Board. The Board is responsible for the performance management of these units. In addition, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service is directly subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior.

Police departments form the local police

The local police force consists of 11 police departments. Local police services are provided at main police stations, police stations, police service points and joint service points.

Police departments:

  • Helsinki Police Department
  • Häme Police Department
  • Eastern Finland Police Department
  • Eastern Uusimaa Police Department
  • Southeastern Finland Police Department
  • Lapland Police Department
  • Southwestern Finland Police Department
  • Western Uusimaa Police Department
  • Oulu Police Department
  • Ostrobothnia Police Department
  • Central Finland Police Department

Finland has 7,300 police officers on duty. The number of police officers has fallen in recent years, due to cuts in the police budget.

The National Bureau of Investigation exposes and investigates serious and organised crime

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is a national police unit. The NBI investigates international, professional, serious and organised crime. The NBI has some special tasks such as responsibility for criminal intelligence cooperation between the Police, Customs and Border Guard (PCB cooperation). The only forensic laboratory in Finland is located in the National Bureau of Investigation. The laboratory provides services for all police units and some external authorities. The National Bureau of Investigation also hosts the Cybercrime Center, which combats cybercrime.

The National Bureau of Investigation is Finland's national central bureau of international criminal police cooperation and is responsible for the tasks of the national centres of Interpol, Europol and Schengen (Sirene).

The Police University College trains Finnish police officers

The Police University College in Tampere is responsible for recruitment for police training, student selection, diploma and advanced studies, leadership training, further training and research and development within the police sector. All new police officers graduate from the Police University College. The Driver's Training Centre is located in Pieksämäki and police dog handlers are trained at the Police Dog Training Centre in Hämeenlinna.

The Police University College conducts applied research and development work in the service of the planning and development of policing and internal security. The College also hosts the statistical service of the police.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service combats crime endangering internal and external security

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service is a national police unit subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. It is tasked with combating terrorism and illegal intelligence gathering (counterintelligence), and with security-related work and counter-proliferation activities intended to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The duties of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service differ from other police crime prevention in that the Service prevents activities and crimes that might endanger governmental and social systems, or the internal and external security of the State.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service is the responsible authority for national and international operational inter-authority cooperation in the fight against terrorism. It draws up and maintains a terrorist threat assessment for Finland.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service is tasked with monitoring the development of domestic extremist phenomena and the related illegal activity. It reports to other security authorities and the Government on changes in such phenomena.

The Service draws up threat assessments on state visits and performs security clearances for personnel recruited into sensitive positions.

In addition to its headquarters in Helsinki, the Service has offices in Turku, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Tampere, Vaasa, Joensuu, Kuopio and Rovaniemi. It employs some 300 public officials, half of whom are police officers.