News in brief

New data has revealed a considerable rise in reports of severe crimes such as manslaughter, homicide and murder attempts in 2020 compared to previous years.

Data from Statistics Finland indicates that there were 91 incidences of homicide last year—19 more than 2019. Additionally, police reported a total of 398 homicide attempts, which is 69 more cases than the previous year.

With the exception of 2018 (when the figure increased compared to the year before), the rate of homicides in the country had been witnessing a steady decline. 

During the course of 2020, police, customs and the border guard registered a total of 537,700 offences against the Criminal Code—a steep hike of 18.8 per cent compared to 2019.

There were 73 more cases of aggravated assault this year compared to 2019, while reported instances of sexual harassment went up by 4.8 per cent. Police also recorded a total of 1,746 cases of child sex abuse, a 2.2 per cent increase from the previous year.

Incidences of violent crime were particularly high in the first half of 2020, when the government declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The rise in crime can be largely attributed to the growing unemployment, increasing instances of drug abuse and general decline in mental health caused by the pandemic.


Tahira Sequeira

Helsinki Times