Finland: 17% increase in hate crime, 55% increase in religious hate crime

Finland: 17% increase in hate crime, 55% increase in religious hate crime

The Police College of Finland published it's 2009 hate crimes report today (PDF, FI with EN summary). More than 1,000 hate crimes (EN) were reported to the police in 2009, 17% more than in 2008. Hate crimes were most often directed at men, and were most often assault. Hate crimes against women were usually insults. 85% of the reported hate crimes were racially motivated, and most of those were in the Helsinki region.

The Finnish police breaks down the offender/victim statistics by citizenship and country of birth, but that doesn't really give enough information.

58% of the victims were Finnish citizens, with Somalis (7%, Russians (5%) and Iraqis (5%) next in line. 22% of the Finnish citizens were born abroad, others include Finnish Roma and 2nd generation immigrants. However, the report doesn't give further info on that. 47% of the victims were born in Finland, 11% in Somalia and 6% in Iraq.

The report points out that Somalis are majorly overrepresented in the victim statistics. I think they're also slightly overrepresented in the offender statistics. 80% of the offenders were Finnish citizens, followed by Somalis (3%), Estonians (2%), Russians (2%) and Iraqis (2%). 75% of the offenders were born in Finland, 4% in Somalia and 2% each in Iraq, Estonia, the Soviet Union, Turkey and 'unknown'.

83 of the hate crimes were religion-related (compared to 53 in 2008). About half (44) targeted Christians (compared with 15 in 2008), while 14 targeted Muslims (compared with 17 in 2008).