According to the National Police Board, investigating crimes against property is no longer among the main priorities of the Finnish Police – partly due to the recent reform of the police administration, as a result of which the number of police departments decreased from 24 to 11 and the National Traffic Police was dissolved.
Instead, policy-makers have determined that investigating economic crime, combating organised crime and maintaining the quality of traffic surveillance operations regardless of the dissolution of the National Traffic Police must be given priority.
In addition, the Government has ruled that the police must be able to respond to emergencies without any undue delay.
“We must succeed in these duties and have thus invested in them. We don't have enough resources for everything,” explains Seppo Kolehmainen, a deputy national police commissioner at the National Police Board.
The new priorities, he points out, have especially hindered investigating crimes against property and carrying out surveillance duties. “The situation is problematic because property crimes often concern ordinary citizens,” he highlights.
“The situation may be one-off for the victim of a property crime. If criminal culpability is not imposed, the capacity of the police may appear suspect. It would therefore be important to solve crimes against property more effectively than today.”
Between January and June, the Finnish Police solved 12.5 per cent of the over 78,000 so-called dark property crimes – crimes in which the offender was not caught red-handed or their identity known.
“Half a year is such a short period that it's impossible to draw long-reaching conclusions. I'm confident that the clearance rate will improve near to the levels of last year,” Kolehmainen assures.
Lasse Kerkelä – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Photo: Laura Oja