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Monday's papers: Crime-free kids, Lempäälä latest and a boost from Bernie

Monday's papers have news of a survey showing teenagers' law-abiding ways, the latest on a shooting in Lempäälä and a shout-out for Finland from Bernie Sanders.

Kaksi tyttöä istuu kauppakeskuksessa.
Kids in Finland are spending more time in front of screens. Image: Yle

Helsingin Sanomat reports on Monday that Finland's teenagers are getting more and more intolerant of criminality. The Youth Criminality Survey was first conducted in 1995, when more than 30 percent of the 15-and-16-year-olds questioned admitted they'd stolen something. That figure is now down to 14 percent, and it's part of a wider trend as kids use intoxicants less and take a sterner attitude towards rule-breaking.

There are several possible reasons for these shifts, and not all of the reactions are positive.

"Someone said that isn't it a bit boring when young people don't do anything any more," said Matti Näsi of Helsinki University's Criminology and Legal Studies Institute.

Starting in the 60s rule-breaking and rebellion were seen as an integral part of a teenagers' development, according to a book co-authored by Näsi. That's changing now with anti-authoritarianism out of fashion and self-discipline back in vogue, as evidenced in the Youth Criminality Survey. More than half of teenagers questioned used to believe rule-breaking was part of puberty, but that's now down to one in three.

Criminologists believe that a new, individual-focused culture has displaced previous attitudes. When combined with modern social media, where any transgression may be preserved for anyone to find via an online search, and young people are more cautious. They also spend a lot more time at home with screens, as opposed to out and about in large groups as they did in previous decades.

Lempäälä latest

All the newspapers cover developments in the shooting of a man by police in Lempäälä on Saturday. Ilta-Sanomat has details of the deceased and a video of a police raid on his workplace, while Iltalehti has a video shot from another car of the police stop itself.

Both papers report that the dead man was a British-Finnish dual citizen who had lived in Finland for several years. He's being investigated for attempted murder and aggravated weapons charges, with a decision on a possible investigation into police firing their weapons is yet to be made.

IL also reports that the man had no previous criminal record, and that the two passengers arrested over the weekend have been released.

Bernie loves Finland

Ove the weekend US senator Bernie Sanders released a video on social media in which Finnish journalist Anu Partanen explains various aspects of the Finnish system for a US audience. The premise is a kind of 'social democracy for dummies', as she explains that yes, Finns do pay higher taxes but they also get healthcare, education, daycare services and more at either very low cost or free of charge.

The video immediately went viral and was immensely popular with Finns, so several papers cover it as well. Partanen herself is something of a missionary on this topic, debunking the claim from some on the right of US politics that Nordic countries are socialist and authoritarian with the counter-claim that taxes here are an acceptable charge for high quality services.

Little Lions light up

Lastly this Monday, Finland's under-18 men's hockey team were celebrating on Sunday after winning the world championship in their age group. They beat the USA 3-2 in the final, setting off wild celebrations--and congratulations from the president.

Iltalehti reports that President Sauli Niinistö tweeted that it was a wonderful display from the Little Lions, and a great weekend for Finland after the cheerleading title won on Saturday.

The men's ice hockey world championship, Finland's unofficial post-Mayday summer starting point, gets underway on Friday with games shown live on the commercial channel MTV3.

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