The Police College of Finland is taking a long time to publish its hate crime statistics for 2011. A spokesperson of the Police College told Migrant Tales Friday that hate crime data will be published “in a few weeks,” or before end-year.
Migrant Tales spoke to the Police College in early November. A spokeswoman said back then that the hate crime statistics would be published “by the end of November.”
Hate crime statistics for 2010 were published last year on October 27.
Internet policeman Marko Forss has hinted that hate crime statistics for 2011 may “rise a little” from 2010, when they fell by 15% to 860 cases from 1,007 in the previous year.
While former interior ministry officials like Ritva Viljanen are happy to note that hate crimes retreated in 2010, they have grown during a longer period.
Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini has used such statistics to point out that racism isn’t a problem in Finland, never mind in his party.
The “low” number of hate crimes reported in Finland could be attributable to many factors. Some of these are ignorance of one’s rights, language and cultural barriers, fear of reprisals, lack of trust and difficulty of reporting such crimes to the police.
If we look at neighboring Sweden, which is years ahead of Finland when it comes to cultural diversity, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention states the following about hate crimes:
Hate crimes are characterized by a large number of unrecorded cases, i.e. cases not reported to the police. For this reason the statistics cannot be said to reflect the actual extent of hate crime in Sweden. The Swedish Crime Survey is used as a complement to the statistics on police reports with identified hate crimes. It should be noted though that regarding exposure to hate crime, the results in the Swedish Crime Survey is uncertain due to low numbers of respondents, why the true extent might be under- or over-rated.
Most hate crimes reported in Sweden in 2011 were identified as xenophobic and/or racist. A total of 3,900 xenophobic/racist cases were reported, of which 800 were Afrophobic and just over 180 anti-Roma.
Statistics in Sweden report anti-religious motives (650 cases), while 902 cases were reported as homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and heteroephobic.
Nine percent of all hate crimes were ideologically motivated (white power).