Clear upturn in the number of suspected hate crimes
According to the annual report by the Police University College, the number of suspected hate crimes reported to the police in 2021 was one fifth higher than in the previous year.
The annual report on hate crime reported to the police in 2021 indicates that a total of 1,026 reports of offences classified as suspected hate crimes were filed last year. The number of these crime reports increased for the first time since 2017.
The study by the Police University College classified suspected hate crimes on the basis of the various motives for the act. As in previous years, most of the reports of hate crime in 2021 involved elements targeted at the victim’s ethnic or national origin. The total number of these reports recorded by the police was 706, slightly more than a year before. As before, the most common type of crime in these cases was assault.
In 14 per cent of the crime reports relating to ethnic or national origin, the injured party was a person of Roma origin. This was 13 per cent more than in 2020. In these reports, too, the most common type of crime was assault. Of persons residing in Finland, whose nationality was other than Finnish, Somali citizens fell victim to suspected hate crimes most often in relative terms.
The number of hate crime reports relating to religion or belief totalled 133, and the number of these reports also increased year-on-year. One third of these cases were illegal threats, and Muslims were targeted in most cases.
A total of 126 crime reports in which the suspected motive was sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of gender were submitted to the police. This was 85 per cent more than in 2020. About one third of these suspected offences were cases of defamation.
Of the motives of suspected hate crime, the number of reports relating to the victim’s disability increased most, doubling in comparison with 2020. The number of these reports totalled 61 and almost one half of the suspected offences involved were cases of defamation.
Defamation the most common type of offence for the first time
In 2021, the hate crime reports included 1,390 main offences. Taking into account all motives for hate, defamation emerged as the most common type of offence for the first time. The total number of these cases was 414. Previously, assault has been the most common type of crime in reports of hate crime submitted to the police. The number of other types of verbal insults, threats and cases of harassment was still high, as more than half of all reported cases included these.
The number of suspected offences of ethnic agitation, however, continued to decline. The number of reports filed with the police totalled 41, whereas in the previous year, this figure was 71.
The number of suspected hate crimes has been monitored to its current extent by the Police University College since 2008. The statistics on hate crimes are based on crime reports retrieved from the National Police Information System.
Crime reports including suspected hate crimes in 2016–2021
|Ethnic or national background||831||813||634||650||646||706|
|Religion or belief||149||235||155||133||108||133|
|Sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of gender||57||60||73||72||68||126|
|Total||1 079||1 165||910||899||852||1 026|