Hate crimes affect members of minority groups all over the world. Some countries take it more seriously than others by passing and enacting hate crime prevention laws, and by investigating suspected cases and prosecuting perpetrators so as to deliver justice to victims. The number of suspected hate crimes registered by Finnish police have increased more than fifty per cent between 2014 and 2015.
Every year since 2008 Finland’s Police University College publishes a report on hate crime based on data of suspected hate crimes reported to the police. The report provides insights into the state of hate crimes in the country. Currently, the Finnish penal code does not define hate crime or racist crime. However, since 2011 the racist motive has been an increasing ground for punishments. Hate motives such as race, skin color, religion or sexual orientation are taken into consideration by courts during sentencing, and they may lead to an enhanced penalty. However, it appears that the police, prosecutors and judges have challenges in recognizing the potential hate motive in the crime process.
Read the full story here.
Current legal measures may not be enough
A total of 1250 suspected cases of hate crimes were brought to the attention of the police in 2015, according to police data. Compared to the previous year the figure represents a 52 percent increase in suspected hate crimes. Majority of suspected cases in 2015 had racist features based on ethnicity and national background.