Finnish youth more law abiding than before
Vandalism and theft committed by young people has declined from a years past.
Juveniles in Finland also commit fewer homicides than their peers in other countries, even though manslaughter and murder figures are otherwise higher than the average in the European Union.
The data is from a collection of articles on juvenile crime published on Thursday by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy, the Youth Research Network, and the Consultative Committee for Youth Affairs.
The number of 15 and 16-year-olds who steal and destroy property has declined steadily for about ten years, writes Janne Kivivuori in one of the articles.
There has also been a decline in police reports of theft committed by young people. Kivivuori concludes that as a whole, today's young people are more law-abiding than they were ten years ago.
He sees many possible reasons for the positive trend. One of them involves tighter control in the form of more security guards and CCTV cameras in public places.
Greater prosperity could also be a factor, reducing the need to steal.
Developments are not as good in the field of violent crime, which increased in the late 1990s, and which has remained at the high level, or possibly declined slightly.
Assaults by children under 15 have continued to increase. Some of the growth may be attributed to the fact that more assaults by children are actually being reported to the police.
In recent years the number of homicides in which someone under the age of 18 is the suspect has varied between zero and nine, according to an article by researcher Martti Lehti.
Young people who commit homicides tend to do so in groups and in public places, according to Lehti's study.
In killings committed by juveniles, the victims are more frequently unknown to the assailants than when the perpetrator is an adult. However, most of the victims of young killers are either relatives or acquaintances.
Homicides committed by young people are often linked with property crime - for instance, burglaries - where the thief is surprised by the victim showing up.
As is the case with adults, young people who kill often do so while intoxicated, and the weapon is usually a sharp object.