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Finnish cities at their safest since at least 2000

Street crime rates show that 2016 was the safest year since the turn of the millennium, according to a police assessment of crime rates given to Yle.

poliisiauto ja muutama poliisi
Finnish police say Finland's streets are safer than at any time since 2000. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

The streets of Finland are safer than at any point since the year 2000, according to a new ranking prepared by the police for Yle. The stats show that Espoo is Finland's safest large municipality, and Helsinki the least safe.

The overall trend, however, is towards increased security and safety in Finnish urban areas. The ranking compares Finland's ten largest municipalities based on the rate of street crimes there per inhabitant.

Espoo's number one position is largely down to the fact that few people want to visit the suburb unless they live there, according to police.

"Espoo's result is affected by, among other factors, the structure of the town," said Marko Savolainen of the National Police board. "There is no big centre and concentration of people like in Helsinki or Tampere. People come to Helsinki from across a wide area, including Espoo, to party and spend the evening. When a lot of people are concentrated in a small space, where there are a lot of licensed premises and intoxicated people that causes the problems shown in the index."

After Espoo come Kouvola, Oulu, Kuopio, Lahti, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and Helsinki. The biggest improvement over the last ten years was seen in Kuopio, with Lahti also becoming much safer over the last decade.

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