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Police Commissioner: Hate crimes in rapid rise

Police say there has been an upsurge in reports of hate crime incidents, and that only around a fifth of hate speech incidents are reported.

Poliisiylijohtaja Seppo Kolehmainen.
National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen. Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

Police say there has been an upsurge in reports of hate crime incidents. National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen says that the incidents police hear about are only the tip of the iceberg, because many people don't want the hassle of making a complaint.

Kolehmainen says he has experienced hate speech himself, but has not reported it.

The European Court of Human Rights defines hate speech as expression that spreads, incites, promotes or justifies hatred based on intolerance. Hate crimes are committed because of, for example, the victim's ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or disability.

”Next time I might act differently, and I encourage others to speak up. Nobody has to put up with absolutely everything,” the Commisioner continues.

According to estimates, just a fifth of hate crime victims tell anyone about their experiences. Police Commissioner Kolehmainen said that he regrets that an even smaller percentage of that gets reported to the police.

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