Significant drop in reported hate crimes

While the overall number of reported hate crimes fell, hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased last year.  

File picture showing detail on police uniform / Credit: News Now Finland

The number of suspected hate crimes in Finland has decreased, according to the latest figures from the Policy University College in Tampere.

Last year police recorded 910 reports of suspected hate crimes, which was 22% less than in the previous year.

The statistics show that almost seven out of 10 criminal complaints were related to ethnic or national background. The second largest group of cases were based on the victims’
religious background; followed by sexual orientation and disability.

Only hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased last year. A total of 61 such notifications were made, which is 27% more than the year before.

“We saw a decrease in the numbers in general but then again we also saw a small increase in the number related to sexual minorities and gender minorities, and this is obviously a signal about that we would have to be able to build a society which is also more just for these people” Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) tells News Now Finland.

The police report defines a hate crime as an offence against a person, group or property that is based on prejudice or hatred of victim’s presumed or actual ethnic or national background, religion or beliefs sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability, for instance.

Punishment for a crime can toughened if it is determined to be motivated by racism or hatred. According to police only about 20% of hate crime victims reports their crimes to authorities.