Published: 23 March 2017

Victims of crimes committed by persons with foreign background are often also of foreign background

According to Statistics Finland's data, a total of 823,500 offences were recorded in 2016 by the police, customs and border guard in the whole country, which is 4,400 offences (0.5 per cent) more than one year before. In all, 661,000 persons were suspected of the 635,100 offences solved in 2016, which is 2,700 (0.4 per cent) more than one year before. Victims of violent offences recorded numbered 37,600 persons.

Nearly 40 per cent of assault offences were committed in private dwellings. Over one-half of assaults against women and one-quarter of those against men were made in private dwellings. Close on 45 per cent of assaults against men and good one-fifth of those against women took place in a public place. Ten per cent of assaults were made in restaurants.

Assault offences by scene and victim’s sex in 2016 (Total 33,769 offences)

Assault offences by scene and victim’s sex in 2016 (Total 33,769 offences)

Victims of violent offences recorded in 2016 numbered 37,600, which was 0.3 per cent more than in 2015. Of the victims, 21,400 (57.0 per cent) were men and 16,200 (43.0 per cent) women. The number of male victims was 0.2 per cent and that of female ones 0.5 per cent higher than in 2015. A total of 33,000 persons were victims of assault offences (Penal Code, Section 21, Paragraphs 5 to 7), 19,400 (58.9 per cent) of them men and 13,500 (41.1 per cent) women. Information on victims is obtained reliably only on certain violent offences.

Altogether 3,000 (9.0 per cent) of the victims of assault offences were aged 18 to 20. There were 4,600 (13.8 per cent) victims aged over 50. Assault offences directed at children aged under 18 increased by 9.2 per cent from the year before. The number of child victims was now 6,450. This is 19.6 per cent of all victims of assault offences. Of child victims of assault offences, 4,100 (64.1 per cent) were boys and 2,300 (35.9 per cent) girls. Among the child victims of assault offences, 33.3 per cent were aged under ten, 34.9 were aged 10 to 14, and 31.8 per cent were aged 15 to 17. Of the 1,100 victims of sexual abuse as a child, 87.4 per cent were girls and 12.6 per cent boys. The legislative amendment, which entered into force at the beginning of 2011, considerably increased the number of recorded assault offences. After the legislative amendment, petty assaults on minors or close relatives became officially prosecutable. In addition, at the beginning of April 2015, an amendment to the Child Welfare Act (1302/2014) came into effect, which extended the reporting obligation in cases where an offence against a child's life or health is suspected.

Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2016

Victims of certain offences by age and sex in 2016

In terms of solved offences, where, in addition to the victim, the suspect is also known, the victim was of Finnish background in 84.8 per cent of cases and of foreign background in 15.2 per cent of cases. In 2015, victims were of Finnish background in 90.3 per cent and of foreign background in 9.7 per cent of cases. In sexual offences, the victim was of Finnish background in 92.9 per cent of cases, which is 1.3 percentage points higher than in 2015. In assault offences, the victim was of Finnish background in 83.2 per cent of cases, which in turn is 6.6 percentage points lower than in 2015.

When the victim was of foreign background the suspect was also of foreign background in 72.1 per cent of cases. In 2015, the corresponding share was 62.2 per cent. When the victim was of Finnish background the suspect was also of Finnish background in 88.8 per cent of cases. In 2015, this share was 90.2 per cent. In case of sexual offences the suspect was of foreign background in 42.1 per cent of cases for victims of Finnish background. In 2015, this share was 23.0 per cent.

Victims of certain solved offences by origin and person suspected by origin

Victim's origin/offence Person suspected origin
Origin total Person with Finnish background total Person with foreign background total
2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
Origin total Total 21,047 21,267 17,910 16,925 3,137 4,342
Assault offences 14,949 14,814 12,776 11,808 2,173 3,006
Sexual offences excl. sexual abuse of children 546 686 396 382 150 304
Other offences 5,552 5,767 4,738 4,735 814 1,032
Person with Finnish background total Total 19,007 18,044 17,139 16,027 1,868 2,017
Assault offences 13,416 12,322 12,206 11,163 1,210 1,159
Sexual offences excl. sexual abuse of children 500 637 385 369 115 268
Other offences 5,091 5,085 4,548 4,495 543 590
Person with foreign background total Total 2,040 3,223 771 898 1,269 2,325
Assault offences 1,533 2,492 570 645 963 1,847
Sexual offences excl. sexual abuse of children 46 49 11 13 35 36
Other offences 461 682 190 240 271 442

More detailed data on offences reported in 2016 and persons suspected of solved offences and their background are available in the review published on 23 March 2017 and from the PX-Web database service . The database table describing reported domestic violence and intimate partner violence will be updated in connection with the release of 31 May 2017.


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2016, Offences reported. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kimmo Haapakangas 029 551 3252, rikos@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 23.3.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. Reported offences, 1st quarter 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.10.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2016/13/rpk_2016_13_2017-03-23_tie_001_en.html

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