The police have had to intervene in disturbing noise more than usual in the past few weeks – the number of domestic disturbance calls has risen somewhat in Helsinki

9.4.2020 16.02
News item

The media has been reporting on the impact of the state of emergency, caused by the coronavirus, on the police’s domestic disturbance calls. In the Uusimaa region, most domestic disturbance calls are made in Helsinki. This year, the police have received approximately 2,700 domestic disturbance calls.

There has been a slight increase in the number of domestic disturbance calls in past few weeks compared to the same time period in recent years. In particular, there has been an increase in the so-called noise and disturbance calls, which means that the police have been called because of disturbing noise or behaviour. Domestic disturbance calls are divided between various days of the week and times of the day. During weekend nights, the police are mostly called because of disturbing noise.

Statistics over emergency calls show that it’s quite normal to receive repeated calls regarding a specific location – sometimes several in one day. For example, neighbours report noise or some other disturbing behaviour. The situation calms down when the police arrive but continues after a while.

Not all violence in close relationships is reported to the police – it’s important to let authorities know if you are worried about a loved one

According to preliminary information from the beginning of the year, approximately one third of domestic disturbance calls in Helsinki are related to violence in close relationships. Statistics that describe crime that has been reported to the police show no increase in assaults and violence in close relationships for now.

“On the contrary, the number of reported cases of violence in close relationships has decreased. Neither is there an increase in the ratio of assaults happening in private apartments. At the moment, approximately half of assaults occur in public places and the other half in a private space, such as a private apartment or a housing service unit. The number of assaults in public areas is on the rise, while the number of cases in private apartments is dropping,” says Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Jonna Turunen from Helsinki Police Department.

Violence in close relationships is always related to hidden crimes, which means that the police will never discover all cases, not even during a state of emergency. Reporting might be delayed or the violence might never be reported to the police. Police patrols always report an offence if violence in close relationships is suspected during a domestic call.

The police encourage everyone to take care of each other. If you are worried about a child, adolescent, other loved one or a neighbour, it’s important to intervene in the matter and report it to an authority. If your worry concerns children and adolescents, you can report it to the child welfare authorities with a child welfare notification.

Help is available in many channels even during the state of emergency. Various phone and chat services are available for both children and adults. Use them to report a concerning situation.

The police are collaborating tightly with other authorities, cities and the third sector. They also actively monitor how the social changes caused by the coronavirus affect various crimes and police operations.

“It is of utmost importance that we all react to concerning situations with a low threshold. As during any other time, the police are operating with the objective of prevention before anything serious happens. Even during a state of emergency, prevention is key in police operations,” Turunen declares.

Four examples of domestic disturbance calls in Helsinki during the first weekend of April

  • A neighbour reported that yelling, banging and children’s crying could be heard from the neighbouring apartment. A police patrol arrives at the scene. There had been verbal arguments in the apartment. The police made a child welfare report.
  • Girlfriend is raging in an apartment. Boyfriend has placed a phone call and is waiting for the patrol outside. A breakup argument. As the police patrol arrives, both are calm and promise to call if the situation escalates again.
  • Husband has assaulted the notifier and tried to throw them out of the apartment. As the police patrol arrives, the situation is calm. The couple had used alcohol. The police took the notifier to their sister and reported an assault.
  • Notifier had called and described a disturbance in the apartment that they were trying to get out of. A neighbour had also heard someone yelling “Don’t hit me”. Present at the apartment are an intoxicated man and three guests, including the notifier. All unrelated people were removed from the apartment.
Helsinki Police Department News Press releases imported from old site