Crimes and vandalism
Crimes against property
The majority of crimes against property involve larceny. The types of larceny that affect private individuals the most are burglary, car theft, car break-ins, theft and pickpocketing.
How to prevent burglary:
• Leave you home looking like it is inhabited.
• Make sure that all doors can be double locked, and use security locks.
• Provide doors with anti-burglary devices such as reinforcers, peepholes and chains.
• Check that doors and windows are locked.
• Do not leave a spare key under the door mat.
• Do not attach any contact information to keys.
If your house or apartment has been broken into:
• Contact the police as soon as possible and ask for instructions.
• Do not act in a way that destroys fingerprints or other evidence, and do not clean up before the police give you permission to do so.
• Fix broken windows and doors as soon as given permission by the police.
• List all lost property.
• Make an insurance claim.
How to prevent car break-ins:
• Check the security systems regularly.
• Do not attach to the car key any information to identify the car.
• Use only approved alarm devices.
• Always lock car doors and take the keys with you.
• Do not park in a remote or dark area.
• Do not store any valuable items in the car.
If your car has been broken into:
• Report the break-in to the police.
• List all lost property and estimate its worth.
• Do not clean up after the break-in before the police give you permission to do so.
• Move your car to a secure location, after the police give you permission to do so.
• Make a report to your insurance company.
How to prevent being pickpocketed:
• Do not carry valuable items and large sums of money.
• Keep money and valuables in an inner, closed pocket.
• Keep credit and debits cards and their PIN numbers in separate places.
• Always keep your bags closed and under control covered by your hand or under your arm near your body.
• Hold a backpack on the front side of your body.
• Do not leave your bag unsupervised in a shopping cart.
• In a restaurant, do not place your bag on the back rest of your chair or your wallet in the pocket of your coat hanging on the back rest.
• Stay aware of your surroundings.
• Be alert if you detect abnormal crowds, for example, at traffic lights or ATM machines.
• Be careful if unknown people offer you help, for example, with your bags when stepping onto a train.
• Interrupt an ATM transaction, if anyone tries to find out your PIN.
• Beware of unauthorized taxis.
If you have been pickpocketed:
• Cancel your debit and credit cards immediately.
• Close your mobile phone account.
• Make a report to the police.
Serious violent crime in Finland is usually not targeted at random victims. Usually the perpetrator and the victim know each other, and the use of violence is linked to substance abuse.
A report to the police on a violent crime can be made by the victim, an eyewitness or anybody with knowledge of the act or a tip.
How to prevent violent crime
• Think in advance what you would do if somebody tried to harm you.
• Make a plan for the worst-case scenario.
• Avoid consuming too much alcohol.
• Stay aware of your surroundings.
• Avoid suspicious places and suspicious company.
• Trust your instincts. Leave if any situation or person arouses your suspicion.
• If you suspect that you are being followed, change the direction or cross the street. If you are still being followed, head towards other people.
• Don’t hesitate to shout if you are threatened or attacked. Shout “help” (“apua” in Finnish) in order that outsiders understand what is happening.
• Escape as soon as possible.
When you are at risk of being robbed
• It’s better to give up property than your health.
• Do as you are told.
• Stay calm.
• Don’t do anything foolish.
• Even mild abuse in a relationship is a crime punishable by the law.
• Think of a safety plan for threatening situations.
• Contact sources of help.
• The perpetrator can also be helped.
If you become a victim of a violent crime
• If the criminal act is happening or has just happened, call the police at the emergency number 112.
• Seek medical care if necessary.
• If you have become a victim to a sexual offence, do not wash yourself or change clothes.
• Retain in your memory as much as possible of the perpetrator and the situation.
• Report the crime to the police.
• Don’t blame yourself; only the perpetrator is responsible for the criminal act.
• Speak about your experience to people close to you and, if necessary, to professional help.