Safe and pleasant city
Safety is a broad concept and touches nearly every aspect of life.
Safety is also one of the values that guide City of Helsinki operations. A safe and pleasant living environment and city centre are important for both residents and visitors.
The perceptions of safety among Helsinki residents are studied at three-year intervals with extensive resident surveys. The latest survey was conducted in 2012. A report on the survey is available online here. It is in Finnish but contains an English foreword and findings.
Helsinki departments and agencies play important roles in promoting everyday safety and in securing undisturbed city operations. In addition to a pleasant and functional urban environment, safety in the city is enhanced by well-executed social and health care services, because deviations or deficiencies in these services are reflected in everyday safety.
City Planning ensures that city plans take into account safety in the living environment. Traffic safety improvements are crucial goals in all traffic and transportation planning.
Fire and rescue authorities prevent accidents with information and guidelines, by monitoring fire safety at properties and the execution of rescue plans, and with chemicals control. The authorities also organize safety training and inform organizers of public events about safety aspects.
The Public Works function maintains the cleanliness and safety of public areas, streets, squares and parks.
Building Control authorities ensure in cooperation with other authorities that a building and its immediate environment are in appropriate condition and fulfil the requirements of health, safety and usability.
Social services and health care authorities manage resident social welfare, income support, child welfare, health care and substance-abuse related affairs, as well as ensuring safe and healthy housing conditions.
Environmental and health authorities deal with factors that endanger resident health in dwellings and in the environment, prevent environmental degradation and mitigate damage caused by environmental degradation. Animal protection is also part of the responsibilities of the Helsinki environmental and health authorities.
The Safety and Preparedness unit in the City Executive Office is the City of Helsinki expert in local safety planning and continuity management. The unit is responsible for general promotion and coordination of safety issues.
The police maintain order in public places and safety in both public and private places. The City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Police Department collaborate closely in city safety matters. More information about the Helsinki Police Department’s operations and services is available online.