Safe Finland? Government publishes new internal security review

The new report highlights areas where significant improvements have been made to security and safety for people in Finland, and where new threats might emerge.

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File picture of Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen / Credit: Lauri Heikkinen, Valtioneuvosto

The government has published a new assessment of Finland’s internal security and concludes that Finland’s the safest country in the world.

The report focuses on four areas including sense of security and access to assistance; crime; accidents and injuries; and stability and social harmony. The government says statistics compiled in the report show, and international comparisons, show that Finland is the safest country in the world.

“This report now gives us a good overall picture of people’s everyday safety and security and of the factors which affect them the most” says Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen (NCP).

The report shows how Finland has become more safe over time. For example, the chances of being murdered was more than twice as high in the 1980s than it is today. The number of road deaths has fallen by almost half in the past ten years. And the number of fires and fire deaths has also fallen sharply in the last decade.

File picture of police badge / Credit: Interior Ministry

Sex abuse allegations raised

Mykkänen cites the recent headline-grabbing sexual abuse allegations, and notes the number of sexual offenses has risen during recent years, but says there is also a lot of “sexual and intimate partner violence” which must be tackled more effectively.

“The number of such [sexual] offences that have been reported has clearly increased in recent years. Therefore, a growing number of cases come to the attention of the authorities and the offenders are brought to justice” says Mykkänen.

The right wing Finns Party has been trying to get enough votes for an interpellation in parliament over internal security in the wake of accusations that foreign-born men in Oulu and Helsinki had sexually abused young girls. So far, they have not been able to force a vote of confidence in the government.

Other threat’s to Finland’s security

In the report, and in a speech in Kuopio, Minister Mykkänen highlighted some other potential threat’s to Finland’s security in the future.

Those range from the more routine like drugs and alcohol continuing to be the main reasons for violence in Finland; to global issues that impact Finland like climate change, social exclusion, and tensions between different population groups.

But the report highlights how technology, for example in traffic and transport systems, can improve safety for people in Finland.