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Finnish Bomb Threats: Offence and Offender Characteristics

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2006 Pages: 1-8
Helina Hakkanen
Date Published
8 pages
This study explored the offence and offender characteristics of Finnish bomb threats.
Finnish bomb threats were most frequently targeted at restaurants and shopping centers. Offenders were typically middle-aged men with criminal backgrounds who worked at construction sites. Offenders almost always made their threats by phone and most used their own phones with recognizable numbers. The threats were most often direct, contained little information, and were very short in duration. Offenders typically had some connection to the target and many had visited the target during the 24 hours prior to the threat. The most frequent motive was revenge or vandalism. The findings also revealed that in contrast to actual bombings, bomb threats were typically impulsive offenses. Finally, it was observed that offender characteristics could not be reliably inferred from information about the target or the threat. Data on solved bomb threat cases in Finland were retrieved from the official Finnish police database and the official Finnish police computerized Criminal Report Index, which contains all crime reports since the beginning of 1994. A total of 69 bomb-threat cases were analyzed, most from 2001 through 2003. Descriptive statistics were generated to analyze the data. Future studies should examine the personality characteristics and underlying psychopathology of bombers. Tables, references