Record number of offences under the Criminal Code in Eastern Uusimaa
Last year, a record number of offences under the Criminal Code were recorded in the district of Eastern Uusimaa Police Department. During the year, 60,000 offences were reported, which is one fifth more than in the previous year. The number was the highest in 10 years.
“Offences under the Criminal Code are offences that make citizens feel unsafe and require a lot of work from the police, such as in the form of interrogations. As resources remain the same, an increase this significant is bound to affect issues such as how quickly criminal investigations are concluded,” says Detective Chief Inspector Petri Eronen.
Total impact of COVID-19 still unclear
Last year was, in many ways, unusual. The impact of the coronavirus situation could be clearly seen in the police work as the increased number of house calls and the reduced number of passport applications, for example. People also seem to have followed the police recommendation of managing their affairs electronically. Last year, 30 per cent more electronic reports of offences were made, of which a total number of 26,657 were recorded at the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department.
Last year’s statistics are unusual in many respects. However, the impact of the coronavirus on society and the actions of individuals and the police is a complicated matter. A year is too short a period of time to draw comprehensive conclusions about which of the statistical changes are due to the coronavirus and which are due to something else.
“Of course, through police work we can see indications of how the coronavirus situation has added to some people’s distress. For example, young people have shown signs of idleness and despondency. However, in the Eastern Uusimaa region, there are many other factors, such as population growth and city infrastructure, that can partially explain the increase in different types of crime. We cannot yet say exactly what the impact of the coronavirus situation has been,” Eronen says.
Statistical peaks in many crimes
The unusual circumstances caused by the coronavirus were reflected in traffic violations. Even though the coronavirus situation reduced the amount of traffic on the roads, the number of traffic offences grew by almost 28 per cent.
“Due to the coronavirus situation, we were able to direct more resources than normal to traffic control, which partially explains the increase,” explains chief inspector Timo Leppälä. “We noticed that the empty roads have encouraged younger people in particular to test the limits of both themselves and their cars.”
The number of property offences grew by almost 24 per cent. The increase is partially explained by the number of offences reported due to the Vastaamo blackmail case. In one year, 3,500 offences related to that case were reported to the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department.
A significant peak can be seen in the number of robberies, which increased by 50 per cent to a total of302. Numerous drug offences were also recorded, a total of 2,950, which is 39 per cent more than in the year previous.
“The despondency of young people might be a factor in the increased number of robberies. We have also noticed that some of the robberies have had connections to drug-related crime, such as debt collecting,” Eronen says.
Violent offences moved from public spaces to apartments
There was a total of 3,689 of cases investigated as violent offences, which is about eight per cent more than in the previous year. The numbers of assaults and homicide increased. A total of 177 cases of aggravated assault were recorded, which is 46 per cent more than in the previous year. The department recorded 11 homicides, which is eight more than in the previous year.
The number of aggravated assaults grew by almost 50 per cent, which may have partially been influenced by the fact that assaults have taken place in environments where there have been no outsiders to intervene in the situation.
“It could be said that the coronavirus situation has affected violent offences in particular in the way the assaults have moved from public spaces to private apartments.
Number of emergency tasks remained the same
The number of police emergency task operations remained more or less the same, despite the unusual year.
“In practice, the number of emergency tasks did not increase. The tasks in urgency category A showed signs of decreasing; however, correspondingly, the tasks in urgency category A+B showed signs of increasing equal in number to the decrease,” says Chief Inspector Jussi Huhtela.
However, there were changes in the causes of emergency tasks. For example, the number of home calls increased by 37 per cent.
“The impact of the coronavirus situation was reflected in the emergency tasks in the way the share of alarm calls concerning the protection of individuals grew when public spaces became empty,” says Huhtela.
Licence applications reflected decreased travel
The coronavirus situation caused a fall in the number of licence applications. In particular, the number of passport applications fell by 42 per cent (or 40,400 fewer applications) compared the previous year.
“Due to the coronavirus restrictions and recommendations, travel was considerably diminished. The number of licence applications is expected to rise once the situation improves. We recommend checking the date of validity of your passport and identity card and prepare for the coming application rush,” says Chief Inspector Markku Koskimäki.
Passport and identity card matters and other licence matters can, in most cases, be managed electronically on the police website poliisi.fi. A visit to a police station is also not tied to your own local police station, meaning that licence matters can be taken care of at any police station. Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we recommend making an appointment whenever the situation allows for it.
View the 2020 statistics
The Eastern Uusimaa Police Department’s statistics for 2020 are available in an accessible form at our website.