The people’s sense of security has improved in Helsinki

According to a recent security study, the people of Helsinki feel that their housing area, city centre and means of transport are safer than ever before.

The City of Helsinki has monitored the development of the sense of security experienced by its population with a survey every three years ever since 2003. The latest survey round was organised in late 2018 and the results of the first analyses of the research material have now been completed.

Own housing area safe even during weekend evenings

Over 80 per cent of the respondents thought that their own housing area feels safe late in the weekends. This evaluation has improved compared to the survey round three years ago by 3.5 per cent units. Especially foreign-language speakers feel that their own housing area is safer than at the time of the previous study.

In the city centre, the sense of security was experienced as slightly lower than in the respondents' own housing area. 65 per cent answered that the city centre is also safe during late weekend evenings. Both in the city centre and in different kinds of public transport vehicles, the sense of security was now experienced as better than in the previous survey.

Two kinds of evaluations of the security development of the last few years

Even though the evaluations of the security had generally improved, part of the respondents did feel that the general security situation in Helsinki had deteriorated during the last few years. A little less than 40 per cent felt that the security situation had remained unchanged, while 25 per cent thought that it had worsened and only 15 per cent that it had improved. The seemingly conflicting evaluation may be explained by the fact that the respondents’ own sense of security is based on things seen or experienced in everyday life, while their views on the general security situation may also be affected by risks and uncertainties discussed, for example, in the media.

The general security situation was deemed very good at the time of answering. As many as 92 per cent of all respondents felt that the general security situation in Helsinki is good or decent. 

The response rate of the security survey was high

The response rate of the security survey was 54 per cent of the chosen sample of Helsinki residents aged 15–79, or 4,155 persons (the response rate for the Finnish and Swedish speaking original population was 58 per cent and that of the foreign-language speakers 45 per cent). Even though almost half of those chosen for the sample did not answer, the response rate was still exceptionally high according to the current trend in surveys. The City continues to analyse the vast research material and additional results will be published during spring in the Kvartti webzine.


Vesa Keskinen and Eija Pyyhtiä: Turvallisuustutkimus: Helsinkiläisten turvallisuuden tunne on kohentunut. Article in the Kvartti webzine, link to the article (only in Finnish)