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The duty of the police to provide everyday security is affected by increasingly complex challenges, the number of which is on the rise – sufficient resources are needed to respond

What are the key drivers of change for police operations that influence the work and future of the police? What can and should be influenced? What capabilities do the police have? What should be developed further? Analyses of the operating environment of the police are conducted to find answers to these questions, and many more. 

The police have published a comprehensive package of analyses of the operating environment, comprising two separate reports – analyses of the external and internal operating environment. The package of analyses of the operating environment was prepared by the National Police Board’s Analysis Operations. A broad range of specialists from the police administration, and networks, have contributed to the preparation. The analyses are based on research data, as recent and broad-based as possible, as well as studies, reports and expert views.  

Based on the basic model of police operating environment study

The aim of the first part of the analysis of the operating environment is to describe the changes in the external operating environment in line with the basic model of police operating environment study. The study was conducted from five viewpoints: the population, planned changes, public debate, crime and technology. 

The other part, the internal study, is named analysis of capital. The analysis of capital studies the extent to which the changes in the external operating environment can be addressed based on the resources available, and provides recommendations for measures. Likewise, the division in the section on capital follows the basic model of the operating environment study, the viewpoints being human capital, economic capital, structural capital, physical capital and relational capital. Moreover, the whole has been reviewed generally from the viewpoint of intelligence-led management.

The changing operating environment of the police

These days, the police encounter more severe and complex crimes, including organized crime, international crime, cybercrime and the traditional forms of crime. Offences committed by children and juveniles, and on the other hand, crime targeting them is increasingly focused on, not only in the media but also in the priorities of operations within the police. 

As the operating environment of the police changes, citizens’ expectations and needs from the police change as well. Key factors influencing the needs include change factors in Finland’s regional development, changes in the age structure and cultural diversification. In the near future, it can be expected that the police will increasingly deal with older people, people living alone, or people speaking foreign languages. The police must be able to provide equal services to different people from various backgrounds. Large urban areas are becoming stronger and stronger. Key motives include digitalization and the associated expectations, and intense technological development. 

People in Finland have high trust in the police. Simultaneously, the police face higher expectations than before, and new statutory requirements are continuously imposed on the police. Mutual trust between the citizens and the police forms an integral part of a safe state governed by the rule of law and it is the basic precondition for police operations. High trust in the police among citizens cannot be taken for granted. Instead, it is the result of long-term systematic efforts – and it must be earned on a daily basis. The trust enjoyed by the authorities, such as the police, requires more work. In the future, too, the police must reflect the society as a whole and keep everyone safe at all times. For that, sufficient resources are essential.

You can review parts 1 and 2 of the analysis of the operating environment online on the website (in Finnish only). For further information, please contact: National Police Board / Police Operations Unit / Analysis Operations, official e-mail