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Police report: Increase in racism and abuse

Police have booked more cases of racism and related physical abuse in the last year than at any other time in more than a decade.

Ulko-ovi, jossa rikottu ikkuna ja ammuskelun jälkiä.
Hate crimes and racism are not officially recognised as criminal offenses in Finland. Image: Poliisin materiaalia

The number of cases of abuse with racist undertones has increased, according to a new report by Finland’s Police Academy.

The report revealed that the number of suspected racism cases more than tripled last year compared to the previous year.

Nearly 800 infractions classified as hate crimes reported to police last year contained elements of racism.

Police have kept records of such crimes for more than ten years. However Finland’s penal code does not recognise racism or hate crimes as criminal offenses.

“The study classifies hate crimes as primarily those suspected crimes in which police officers, the victims, or other parties suspect motives of prejudice or which involve slander of the victim’s peer group,” explained researcher Iina Sahramäki of the Police Academy.

In more than half of the cases reported, the victims had no prior relations with the suspects.

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