Police in Finland received almost 25 per cent more calls for service to private residences than last year between January and November, writes Helsingin Sanomat. (Aku Häyrynen – Lehtikuva)


POLICE OFFICERS in Finland have this year responded to more calls for service to homes than before in the majority of Finnish municipalities, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The National Police Board believes the increase in calls for service to homes is at least partly attributable to the unusual circumstance brought about by the coronavirus epidemic, which has confined people to their homes.

“Restaurants and other establishments have been partly closed because of the coronavirus restrictions. The activity has moved to homes, where more pre-parties and after-parties have been held. That causes a racket and lead to calls for service to homes,” explained Marko Savolainen, a chief superintendent at the National Police Board.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that it has examined police statistics to determine how the number of calls to home developed in municipalities across the country between January and November.

Harjavalta, a roughly 7,000-resident town in Western Finland, had the dubious honour of having the highest number of police service calls to homes relative to population, roughly 31 per 1,000 residents. The number stood at over 25 per 1,000 residents also in Varkaus, Eastern Finland, Kemi, Lapland, Kärsämäki, North Ostrobothnia, and Suonenjoki, Eastern Finland.

The municipalities with the lowest number of calls were Korsnäs, Ostrobothnia, Luhanka, Central Finland, and Närpiö, Ostrobothnia.

Out of the 20 largest cities in the country, Rovaniemi had the highest number of calls for service to homes: almost 24 per 1,000 residents, a rate that signals an almost 40-per-cent increase from the first 11 months of last year. Lahti and Kuopio were the two other large cities with more than 20 calls per 1,000 residents.

The rate stood at around 19 in Turku and Vantaa; 18 in Oulu and Jyväskylä; 16 in Helsinki and Tampere; 14 in Hämeenlinna; and 13 in Espoo.

Nationwide the number of calls for service to homes had increased by over a quarter from the corresponding period in 2019. Helsingin Sanomat reminded that the reasons for such calls vary dramatically, from noise complaints to serious acts of violence.

“Our field supervisors haven’t deemed the increase in calls to homes as unusual or a particularly big thing. We’re talking about normal calls to homes. A large share of them are so-called noise gigs. They’re usually solved by a police giving a talking-to to the ones making a racket from the doorstep,” said Jyrki Pelkonen, a deputy chief of police at Lapland Police Department.

Over a third (36%) of calls to homes across the country this year have been caused by noise complaints, 35 per cent by disturbing behaviour and 26 per cent domestic violence. The number of noise-related calls, in particular, has increased from the previous year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT