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Crime and Criminal Justice in Finland, 2012

NCJ Number
Date Published
533 pages
This report summarizes data and information on trends in recorded crime in general and offense types in Finland, as well as the proceedings of the criminal justice system.
Generally, recorded crime increased in Finland from the mid-1960s to the beginning of the 1990s, due largely to rapid urbanization and the large post-war age cohorts reaching a crime-intensive age in the 1960s and 1970s. Part of the increase in recorded crime is also due to changes in the recording system for crimes, the increased detection rate, and an increased propensity for the public to report crimes to the police. In the early 1990s, in the context of the economic recession, major property crimes stabilized and even began to decline. In the 2000s, the decreasing trend in theft offenses, including burglaries, stabilized. Based on Crime victim surveys in other countries, the trend in property crimes in Finland is similar to that in other Scandinavian countries, but is significantly lower than property crime in other developed countries. In the last few decades, homicides in Finland have shown a slight decline. A long-term increase in recorded assault apparently stabilized in the late 2000s. For the years 2002-2011, more detailed information and data are shown for homicides, assaults and attempted homicides, robberies, sex offenses, thefts, thefts of motor vehicles, embezzlement, fraud, damage to property, tax and economic offenses, drunk driving and other traffic offenses, and narcotics offenses. Recent trends are reported for juvenile offenses, women as perpetrators and victims of crime, and crimes committed by foreigners and immigrants. Data on Finland's criminal justice system encompass the system of sanctions, the declining incarceration rate, the use of sentencing alternatives, the use of community service, and the sentencing of juveniles. 13 figures, 7 tables, and numerous references