People on the street in Helsinki City Center

Helsinki residents still find the city safe

Helsinkians’ sense of security in their respective residential areas has remained high. According to the latest safety survey conducted by the City of Helsinki and the police, 92 per cent feel that their residential area is generally a safe place.  

The survey also asked how safe the area was considered late in the evening. 76% of the respondents also feel safe in their residential area late at weekends. In the previous survey in 2018, approximately 80 per cent felt their respective area was safe also late at weekends. 

“Helsinki wants to be a city where everyone can live a safe and comfortable life. Our City Strategy pays attention to maintaining and developing the distinctive character of each district by listening to the residents. The safety survey provides valuable information to support our goals,” says Mayor Juhana Vartiainen.

Differences between women and men 

The centre of Helsinki was found less safe than in the 2018 survey. This time, 54% considered the city centre safe late at weekends, compared to 64% in the previous survey.  

The difference may partly be explained by the fact that the recent survey data was collected during the coronavirus pandemic, due to which people may have been avoiding the centre more than normal. 

Although the perception of safety is positive overall, women and men still feel quite differently regarding the safety of their residential areas. 85% of men considered their residential area safe late at weekends, compared to 67% of women. Correspondingly, only seven per cent of men but 18 per cent of women thought it unsafe at the time in question. Men also found Helsinki city centre safer than women to move around late at weekends. 

Helsinki safety survey determines residents’ sense of safety and security 

The Helsinki Safety Survey determines residents’ sense of safety and security in their neighbourhood and city centre every three years. The data and subsequent analyses focus on the residents’ everyday lives in their respective residential areas, which are not expected to be significantly affected by what goes on elsewhere in the world. The safety survey has been carried out almost in the same form for about twenty years now.  

The latest data was collected in late 2021, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so the results do not show any possible impact of the war on the sense of security of the respondents. The target group were 15–79-year-old Helsinkians. The questionnaire was sent to 7,818 people, 3,980 of whom replied. The survey was carried out by the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Police Department.  

The published analysis is part of a research series, and the related research article will be published in Kvartti magazine. 

More detailed analyses will be produced from the latest safety survey data during the spring and summer.  

For more information, please contact: 

Safety survey  

Reseach article (In Finnish)

Kvartti  Helsinki Quarterly