|Crime Risks in Finland 2000||Tekstiversio|
Crime Risks in Finland 2000
Finnish Results of the 2000 Sweep of international Crime Victims Survey, 2000
The 2000 sweep of the International Crime Victims Survey was the fourth of its kind in Finland. The previous sweeps are from the years 1989, 1992, and 1996. The study is a joint effort of the National Research Institute of Legal Policy and Statistics Finland. Its objective is to provide crime information that is independent of authority registers, and that may be used also for international comparisons. The Finnish data of the present study, comprising 1,818 completed interviews, were collected in the telephone interview centre of Statistics Finland.
The prevalence of crime in Finland, as measured in these population surveys, has been below the European average. However, Finnish respondents had slightly more experiences of violence and sexual incidents than people on average in a number of European countries in 1996.
In comparison to 1996, the percentage of respondents who have been victims of crimes has grown slightly. In a five-year perspective, 46 per cent of the respondents or their households had been victims of crimes. The increase from the 1996 survey was 1.1 percentage units. In a five-year perspective, small increases were found for robberies, sexual incidents, and violence and threats. Vandalism against cars has decreased when five-year reference periods are compared.
Reporting crime to the police varies across types of crime: motorcycle and car thefts are reported to the police almost without exception; about 70 per cent of house burglaries are reported, whereras the same percentage is only 26 for violence and threats, and less than one for sexual incidents of women. In general, the rate of reporting crimes to the police is the same as in 1996; however, robberies were reported more often, and sexual incidents less often in 2000.
Nearly one out of five Finns said they felt rather or very unsafe when going out alone in their neighbourhood after dark. This percentage is identical with the one found in the previous surveys. A few per cent of Finns feel unsafe when alone at home at night. A house burglary over the next twelve months was assessed to be likely or very likely by 13 per cent of the respondents (11 % in 1996). The homes are equipped increasingly better against crime, for instance burglar alarms and special locks are increasingly popular.
The question concerning a suitable punishment for a recidivist burglar found, as was the case in previous sweeps of the surveys, that community service received the largest support. However, the popularity of community service has to some extent been decreasing over time, while the support of conditional and unconditional imprisonment has increased.