Police University College of Finland: Hate crimes retreat by 13.7% in 2016

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The amount of suspected hate crimes in Finland retorted to the police in 2016 was 1,075, down 13.7% from 1,250 cases in the previous year, according to the Police University College of Finland and the ministry of interior’s police department. Despite the fall in suspected hate crime cases, the police said that the number of hate crimes has not fallen to pre-2015 levels. 

Read the full hate crime report (in Finnish) here.

The majority (77%) of all the hate crime cases was due to ethnic or national origin with religious background accounting for 13.8%, down 16.1% on year. While persons with Finnish citizenship accounted for 60% of all suspected hate crimes, followed by Iraqi (12%), Afghan (6%) and Somali (3%) nationals.

The most common cases of a hate crime due to religion were Muslims.

“Almost half of the crimes [due to religious background] were assaults,” the report states. “Most common location of the suspected crimes based on religion or belief was immigration station [asylum reception center].”


Figure 1: Suspected hate crimes during 2011-2016.

Hate crimes due to the ethnic or national background (etninen tai kansallinen tausta), religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity or appearance, disability, and total.

The Finnish penal code does not recognize the term “hate crime.” Section 5 of the Finnish criminal code gives grounds for increasing punishment if the crime’s motive was “based on race, skin color, birth status, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability or another corresponding grounds.”

Like in many countries in Europe, hate crimes go underreported and are only the tip of the iceberg, according to a recent shadow report by the NGO European Network Against Racism.