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Thursday's papers: Happy Laplanders, fewer traffic deaths and online murder reports

Today's papers helped locate where the happiest Finns live, explained how traffic deaths have declined to a record low and how some use the police's online system to report violent crimes.

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Image: Jukka Uotila / AOP
Yle News

Daily Aamulehti explains that the happiest Finns have high incomes, are in a relationship and reside in Uusimaa or Lapland.

The paper quotes a recent study of 3,600 people in Finland revealing that 90 percent of those living in Uusimaa were usually or very often happy, slightly more than Lapland’s inhabitants of whom 89 percent were happy most of the time.

In contrast, people in Pirkanmaa area are the most miserable, with five percent of respondents there saying they were never happy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those earning less than 20,000 euros and living alone were the least happy, the paper reports.

Interviewed by Aamulehti, professor Timo Airaksinen finds such surveys dubious.

“When people are asked whether they are happy, most tend to say ‘yes,’ because that is considered the right answer,” he says.

“In reality, life is not always that great, but few want to talk about their troubles in such surveys,” Airaksinen adds.

According to him, happiness is usually made up of contentedness, income level, health and relationships.

“Happiness is composed of countless different factors. Sometimes the combination of these elements work together, and sometimes not.”

Traffic deaths down

In other news, daily Lapin Kansa reports that the number of people who die in traffic accidents in Finland has fallen to the same level as in 1940s – even though there are now 60 times more cars than in those days.

Last year, there were 200 traffic fatalities and 3 million registered vehicles in Finland, up from 50,000 cars in the 1940s. In terms of traffic deaths, the 60s and 70s were the darkest years when about 1,000 people lost their lives on the road every year.

Lapin Kansa says the drop in traffic deaths to record low has been helped by the increased use of seat belts, technological advancement and fewer drunk driving incidents.

Jarmo Jerkku, who has driven a truck for more than 30 years, says things have improved over the decades.

“There is definitely less speeding and the roads are in a better shape too.”

According to Jerkku however, there's room for improvement.

”Some drivers don’t take advantage of passing lanes or they only start to pass me when there’s a hill or a curve ahead on the road,” he says.

Serious crimes reported online

Meanwhile, daily Turun Sanomat reports that the electronic crime reporting system is used to inform the police of even very serious crimes, such as murders.

According to the paper, the National Police Board is concerned that authorities receive online notification of violent or sex crimes in about 10 percent of such cases.

These cases need an immediate reaction from police, says Jyrki Aho from the Board.

“Occasionally, there can be a 2-3 week delay in us handling electronic crime reports.”

“Some people are hesitant to call emergency services, because they downplay the seriousness of the crime, when in fact police should get on the case immediately,” Aho adds.

About 80 percent of all crimes reported online are property related - most often they involve a stolen bicycle or a mobile phone.

On the other hand, the online reporting system has made it easier for people to notify police of crimes or disturbances.

“It is always worth telling us about events that may not seem important as they could be related to another case of criminal activity," Aho says.

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