Young offender - Police
Nuori rikoksen tekijä -en
The minimum age of criminal liability in Finland is 15 years. Pre-trial investigations into crimes committed by children under 15 years of age are closed automatically in the absence of criminal liability.
The police’s pre-trial investigation in cases where the suspect is under 15 years of age is generally limited to establishing the suspect’s involvement. If necessary, the investigators can also look into any claims for damages, the possibility of recovering lost property or the need to involve child welfare services. The police reports all crimes committed by children under 15 years of age to child welfare services and notifies the child’s parents.
Young offenders are offenders aged between 15 and 20 years. Age is a factor in determining young offenders’ culpability and their punishment. Young offenders’ social circumstances are also taken into account. The aim is to steer young people away from the path of crime.
For the purposes of pre-trial investigation, children under the age of 18 years are represented by a parent or a separately appointed legal guardian. For example, underage suspects are often accompanied by their guardian when they are being questioned. The need for a guardian to be present is determined on a case-by-case basis. Minors are treated according to their age and level of maturity. The police employs detectives who specialise in dealing with young offenders. Social services are often in attendance when minors are questioned, if their guardian is not present.