The amount of suspected hate crimes* that were reported to the police in 2015 rose by 52.01% to 1,250 cases compared with 822 the previous year, according to the Police University College.
Read the full hate crime report (in Finnish) here.
Racially motivated crimes rose by 46.17% while other hate crimes by 79.86% versus 2014.
Police University College researcher Tero Tihveräinen sai that the rise in suspected hate crimes cannot be explained by the sudden influx of 32,476 asylum seekers that came to Finland last year.
Source: Police University College.
“The number of suspected cases of non-racially motivated hate crime has also increased since the previous year,” said Tihveräinen. “It is possible that awareness of hate crime has increased due to public debate and that the threshold for reporting cases to the Police has lowered. No conclusions can be drawn on the reasons for the increase in numbers based on this report, however.”
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 colour, 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.
*The Police University College defines defines hate crime : “A crime against a person, group, somebody’s property, institution, or a representative of these, motivated by prejudice or hostility towards the victim’s real or perceived ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity or appearance, or disability.”