Prevent house burglary in advance

Publication date 17.6.2021 9.59
News item

With the summer holidays approaching, people start to move to their summer cottages, leaving their normal homes empty. To prevent and investigate house burglary, the Police needs the residents to collaborate ¬– protecting the homes and reporting observations to the Police are key. The number of house burglaries has gone down somewhat during the current year, compared with the same time last year.

In 2020, the number of house burglary reports received by the Police was 1,836, with the Police solving 686 cases, or about 37 percent of the total.  In 2019, the corresponding numbers were 1,980 house burglaries, with about 30 percent solved.

By the end of May this year, the corresponding number is 584 which is 67 burglaries less than in the same time the year before.  
- The downward trend in house burglaries is how it should be, and we hope that the good tendency persists, Superintendent Tuomas Pöyhönen of the National Police Board comments on the numbers.
The types of crime recorded include aggravated theft and attempted aggravated theft, associated with forced entry into apartment. 

Foreigners account for smaller share of crimes

According to Superintendent Pöyhönen, transborder crime has been a core challenge in house burglaries. Through the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of foreign burglars has gone down.

This year, the number of foreigners suspected of house burglary crimes has been just over seven percent, while their share was about 12 percent last year. In 2019, that percentage was over 26.
Superintendent Pöyhönen hopes that the pandemic restrictions are not the only reason for a declining numbers of house burglaries. He is convinced that the preventive measures have also played a role.
- We should all be aware of house burglary risks. Prevention is the best policy here too – it may totally prevent criminal acts or at least make them more difficult to perform. It is always advisable to report any untypical observations to the Police, he adds.

Help is available and should be requested

A house burglary always violates the protection of the home and people’s privacy.
- Luckily, the Police is assisted by their nation-wide and regional stakeholder partners. For example, Victim Support Finland is there for the crime victim, their close ones as well as the witnesses of the criminal case. The Police may ask the crime victim for a permission to forward their information to the support providers. Naturally, everybody in need of support can contact the assistance on their own, without fear, Superintendent Pöyhönen encourages.

Instructions for preventing house burglaries

Protect your home as efficiently as possible. These are some good means: 

1. Neighbourly help – tell your neighbours when you are away and agree on them keeping an eye on your home.
2. Make you home look inhabited when you are away for a longer period of time.
3. Well-functioning locks are important (rear locking, security locking). The rear door locking must also be in working order.
4. Illumination during dusk and dark. 
5. Alarm systems, cameras and alarm warning signs impact the criminals’ choice of targets. 
6. Do not leave windows and doors open because they facilitate rapid entry. This may happen even if house residents are home or on the back yard. 
7. Do not advertise your holidays and travels in the social media – the information may be useful for criminals.

Report suspicious passers-by to Police

According to Superintendent Pöyhönen, it is also of utmost importance to keep the eyes open and pay attention to suspicious people wandering in the neighbourhood.
- Although the criminals try to blend in, they may attract attention when they are monitoring suitable targets. 

If crime seems possible or probable, please call 112 for the emergency response centre.

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