Internal security secretariat head: Many racist crimes go unreported in Finland

by , under Enrique

Some migrants may not report a racist crime in Finland because of mistrust of the police, poor Finnish-language skills and ignorance of one’s rights, according to Tarja Mankkinen, director of the ministry of the interior’s internal security secretariat. 

The Police College of Finland reported 918 suspected hate crimes in 2011, which is a 7% rise from 860 in the previous year.

For obvious reasons, Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini is the only politician who has used these statistics to show that hate crime and intolerance aren’t a problem in Finland.

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Read full story (in Finnish) here.

Without providing any sources to back her claim and that YLE doesn’t cite any migrant or visible minority in the story, Mankkinen states that relations between the police and migrant community are ”very good” when compared with other countries. She is, however,”pretty certain” that many racist crimes go unreported.

How can relations between the migrant community and the police be “very good” if the majority of racist crimes go unreported?

Some reasons why some migrants are inhibited from reporting racist crimes to the police is language, difficulty in filling out forms, and ignorance of one’s rights never mind knowing what a hate crime is.

So what’s the problem? Is it that the migrant community and police have little contact or is their mistrust on both sides?

We have a lot of reason to doubt that matters are ok on the tolerance front.

An internal investigation  revealed last month that judges of the Helsinki Court of Appeal use racist and sexist language and constant denials that the police do not ethnically profile anyone shed light on a much bigger problem that we’re not addressing.

It is a good matter that little by little such issues are brought to light. There are good examples of cooperation in cities like Joensuu, where the police, anti-racist organizations, municipalities and migrants work together, according to YLE.

We need more proactive solutions to move forward rather than the usual denials by officials.