Property and traffic offences the most common types of crime

The number of offences recorded by the authorities has mainly declined over the past ten years. In 2021, the number of offences under the Criminal Code decreased by more than ten per cent from the previous year.

In 2021, the authorities recorded about 501,500 offences and violations, of which 482,593 were offences under the Criminal Code. The number of offences under the Criminal Code decreased by about 13 per cent compared to 2020.  Property crimes accounted for just under half of the total number of offences and traffic offences for about one quarter. 

Trends in types of crime depend not only on an actual increase or decrease in the number of offences, but also on how actively victims report offences to the police. The number of registered offences is also influenced by the effectiveness of law enforcement supervision and by the focus of supervision activities.

Property crime decreased in 2021

Theft offences decreased in 2021 by almost eight per cent from the previous year. The number of theft offences was close to the 2019 level.

Bicycle thefts are the most common type of theft committed against households and individuals. However, according to data of the police and insurance companies, the number of bicycle thefts seems to have declined in 2021. 

Theft offences are more common in urban environments. In Uusimaa, the prevalence of theft offences is many times higher than in the rest of Finland. 

About a quarter of the offences recorded by the police are traffic offences. A total of 134,442 traffic offences were recorded in 2021. Of these, 17,370, or approximately 13 percent, were cases of driving while intoxicated.

The numbers of driving while intoxicated remained relatively stable in 2012–2021. However, over this period, the proportion of cases of driving while seriously intoxicated that were recorded by the authorities decreased from 53 per cent to 36 per cent.

Homicides and alcohol closely connected

In 2021, 94 violent offences that resulted in death were committed in Finland. The number of homicides remained almost as high as in 2020, but still well below the average level of the early 2000s.

Homicides are most likely to occur during disputes between socially excluded, male alcoholics. Most homicides take place in private homes. 

The homicide rate per capita is lower in Finland than in Russia or the Baltic States, but higher than that of our western neighbours. The difference between Finland and the other Nordic countries is mainly due to alcohol-related offences committed by socially excluded, male alcoholics. Crime levels among members of Finland’s working population are at a similar level to the other Nordic countries.

Source: Crime report 2021 (Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy)