Racist crimes have doubled in Helsinki from last year, according to Jyväskylä-based daily Keskisuomalainen, which cites the Finnish News Agency (STT). The total number of racist crimes that have been reported this year is about 70.
Helsinki Deputy Police Chief Ilkka Koskimäki was quoted as saying that a typical racist crime is when somebody accuses a Muslim of a crime and may be guilty of ethnic agitation or defamation of character.
Considering that Finland’s migrant and minority population is growing and that we have a record number of asylum seekers that have come to the country, it would be a good idea to adopt in the Criminal Code of Finland (515/2003) the term “hate” and “racist crime.”
The criminal code doesn’t use the term hate or racist crime but does increase the punishment of a crime if there is a racial or ethnic factor.
In light of a spike in hate crimes in Helsinki and most likely in Finland as well, it’s odd that the government is more interested in tightening immigration policy and family reunification laws than improving the security of migrants and minorities.
As long as the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset* party sits in government and shares power with the Center Party and National Coalition Party, the plight of migrants and minorities will not improve but worsen.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.