New police strategy shifts focus to preventive work
The new police strategy on preventive work aims to engender a sense of security and to decrease the financial and human costs of crimes and disruptions in society.
In practice, preventive police work means encountering young people, working in suburban and peripheral regions and solving local problems together with other authorities, organisations and civil society operators. Preventive policing work supports the other functions of the police in the form of competence, information and cooperation channels.
"The most important part of safety and security work is preventing violence and harm before crimes are committed. Breaking the cycle of criminal behaviour is also an important aspect of preventive work. Next year, for this reason, we will increase the number of police working with young people in suburbs and shift the focus of police work a few steps further towards preventive work," says Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen.
Part of everyday activities at all police departments
The measures included in the strategy will become part of the everyday activities at all police departments through management and supervisory work. Preventive work is a statutory duty of the police, but it must also be a way of thinking in all policing activities.
Preventive police work is systematic and well managed, and it aims to prevent crimes, disruptions to safety and other undesirable incidents that affect people’s safety and sense of security. The police engage in solutions-oriented cooperation with various authorities, organisations and communities.
Key themes for 2019
In 2019, the strategy will be implemented by focusing on five key themes. These are: further developing the activities of police Anchor teams, working in suburbs and sparsely populated areas, cooperating with educational institutions, reducing the rate of domestic and intimate partner violence against women and working with minorities. The Government has allocated additional appropriations to support the implementation. The budget proposal for 2019 includes EUR 2.5 million in additional appropriations for preventive police work and EUR 3.3 million specifically for police work in sparsely populated areas.
Aiming towards increased safety and engendering a sense of security
The objective of the strategy for preventive police work is to maintain and strengthen people’s safety and engender a sense of security. With this in mind, it is important for police activities to take into account different population groups, minorities and age groups, as well as the varying needs of different parts of the country.
A further objective is to reduce the financial and human costs of crimes and disruptions that weaken the safety and security of people and society. In addition, the police want to ensure that the specialised skills and cooperation networks used for preventive work can also be utilised in other police activities.
Cooperation between authorities is a strength in Finland
Intersectoral cooperation between authorities and with organisations is a strength and asset in Finnish policing work. Well-functioning cooperation is one reason Finland is one of the safest countries in the world.
For example, by pooling the resources of the police, social work and health care, Anchor teams have been able to develop more effective ways to help young people who act out through criminal behaviour. Anchor teams work preventively to improve the overall life situations of children and youth together with the police, youth and social work operators and schools.
Monitoring the implementation of the strategy
The National Police Board is drawing up a plan for implementing the strategy. The objectives apply to all of Finland, but the measures will be tailored to suit regional and local needs. The Ministry of the Interior will compile an annual public report on the progress of the implementation of the strategy.
The strategy has been prepared in cooperation with stakeholders. The police, stakeholders, various population groups and the main cooperation partners participated in the preparations in workshops organised for that purpose.
Tarja Mankkinen, Head of Development and chair of the working group, tel. +358 295 488 370, [email protected]