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Finland 2013 Crime and Safety Report

Europe > Finland > Helsinki

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

Crime statistics remain low compared to the United States and other developed countries. Estonians remain the largest group of foreigners in Finnish prisons, according to the Criminal Sanctions Agency. Romanians remain the second-largest group. The majority of crime still occurs in Helsinki. Americans are seldom the victims of violent criminal acts, but visitors should pay attention to their personal safety and protect their valuables (especially passports). 

Crime Threats

Alcohol is the major social ill that contributes to criminal activity. Violent crime is relatively rare, but assaults occur, particularly in clubs frequented by youthful patrons. Public drunkenness is more pronounced after dark, on weekends, and during holidays. While the majority of these individuals are non-violent, visitors who observe visibly intoxicated individuals are advised to avoid direct contact so as to minimize the possibility of becoming victimized.

Most of the violent crimes committed go almost unnoticed by most Finnish citizens, who are mostly subject to petty crimes such as burglaries and thefts. However, in 2012, four armed criminals committed a daylight robbery of a jewelry store located on one of Helsinki’s busiest and most heavily trafficked streets. Police later arrested a Finnish man in possession of some of the stolen property, but no other arrests have been made in connection with the heist. 

Sexual assaults do occur but are much lower than are reported in other European countries. 

Personal robberies also occur but are most often during late hours. 

Non-violent crimes, such as petty theft and pick-pocketing, increase twofold during the warmer months.   

Overall Road Safety Situation

Finnish roadway systems, even outside of major cities, are paved, well maintained, and lit. All drivers must yield to traffic that is entering the roadway on the right. Drivers operating a motorized vehicle are required to possess a valid driver’s license, and all drivers must adhere to strict local traffic laws. DWI laws are rigorously enforced by the local authorities who may administer field sobriety inspections at their discretion. Road conditions during the winter can become very dangerous, and numerous fatalities are reported from traffic accidents every winter. Finland has one of the safest transportation systems in the world. It is rare for an accident to occur with any rail transportation and vehicle. Finnair was recently named among the safest airlines in the world. Ferry transportation is abundant and well maintained and regulated.   

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns

Criminal organizations, such as motorcycle clubs, continue to be the main focus for police, who in the last few years have dedicated additional resources that have proven to be effective in combating drug and weapons trafficking. With a growing number of motorcycle gang members, even the smallest communities have been subject to gang-on-gang violence. 

In recent years, the Nordic and Baltic regions have seen an increase in terrorist activity, large scale demonstrations, and threat reporting. Finland remains vigilant and works closely with foreign security agencies to identify any potential dangers. Because of this, Finland has not had any significant terrorist threat or incident. 

Civil Unrest 

Even well-organized demonstrations only manage to bring supporters out in the hundreds. Civil unrest is not common nor is religious or ethnic violence.     

Police Response

Finnish police are ranked as the least corruptible law enforcement in the world. Anyone attempting to bribe a Finnish police officer should expect to be arrested. Finnish police response to emergency situations is excellent within the city. Although many police officers speak English, some have a limited capacity to communicate in English.

How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment 

If an American citizen is detained or arrested by police officials, it is recommended that they cooperate, identify themselves, and request to contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) section of the U.S. Embassy.

Where to Turn to for Assistance if you Become a Victim of Crime

In case of an emergency, the police can be contacted by dialing 112, which is the Finnish equivalent of dialing 911 in the U.S. Most police dispatchers speak English.

Various Police/Security Agencies 

Police assets, although capable, are very limited in rural areas, and as a result response times are longer in rural Finland. However, the Border Guard plays a major role in rescue scenarios in these areas. 

Finland needs to recruit an additional police officers by 2020, according to a Ministry of the Interior working group report. The Finnish police force currently totals 10,900 persons, of which approximately 7,800 are police officers. 

Medical Emergencies 

Hospitals are capable of handling any medical emergency. In rural areas, clinics are small and may need to transfer patients to a medical facility in a larger city. Dialing 112 is the fastest way to have medical emergencies attended to. Numerous small clinics can handle smaller illnesses, cuts, sprains, etc. Most speak English and will accept credit cards as payment. 

Contact Information for Recommended Local Hospitals and Clinics

HELSINKI
Mehiläinen Airport, Clinic 
Lentäjäntie 1 E, 6th floor, 01530 Vantaa 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Kaisa Kareinen

Mehiläinen Forum, Clinic 
Mannerheimintie 20 B, 4th floor, 00100 Helsinki 
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Olli Lehtisalo 

Mehiläinen Itäkeskus, Clinic
Vanhanlinnantie 3 B, 3rd floor, 00900 Helsinki
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Kristiina Aalto 

HYVINKÄÄ
Mehiläinen Hyvinkää, Clinic
Hämeenkatu 9, 3rd floor, 05800 Hyvinkää
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Mari Himanka

HÄMEENLINNA
Mehiläinen Hämeenlinna, Clinic and Hospital 
Talaskuja 3, 13200 Hämeenlinna 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Päivi Jurvanen

JYVÄSKYLÄ
Mehiläinen Jyväskylä, Clinic and Hospital 
Kauppakatu 35, 40100 Jyväskylä 
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Mila Korhonen

KOUVOLA
Mehiläinen Kouvola, Clinic and Hospital
Kauppamiehenkatu 4, 45100 Kouvola
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Anu Jokinen

KUOPIO
Mehiläinen Kuopio, Clinic and Hospital 
Kauppakatu 39 A, 70100 Kuopio 
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Anne Karttunen

LAHTI
Mehiläinen Lahti, Clinic and Hospital 
Sibeliuksenkatu 6 c, 2nd floor, 15110 Lahti 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Hanna Vihavainen

Mehiläinen Vierumäki, Occupational health service unit 
Urheiluopistontie 373, 19120 Vierumäki
Booking 010 414 0666
Unit Manager Hanna Vihavainen

LAPPEENRANTA
Mehiläinen Lappeenranta, Clinic
Kauppakatu 40 C, 3rd floor, 53100 Lappeenranta
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Sari Seppänen

LIETO
Mehiläinen Lieto, Clinic
Hyvättyläntie 9, 21420 Lieto
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Juha Hämäläinen

LOHJA
Mehiläinen Lohja, Clinic 
Laurinkatu 34, 3rd floor, 08100 Lohja 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Helka Saari

NUMMELA
Mehiläinen Nummela, Clinic 
Vihdintie 8, 03100 Nummela 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Helka Saari

OULU
Mehiläinen Oulu, Clinic 
Kauppurienkatu 27-29, 90100 Oulu 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Vuokko Sinko

PORI
Mehiläinen Pori, Clinic
Tampereentie 3, 28130 Pori
Booking 010 414 0200
Unit Manager Harri Reunanen

RAISIO
Mehiläinen Raisio, Clinic 
Raisiontori 1 a, 21200 Raisio 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Petri Juhakoski

RIIHIMÄKI
Mehiläinen Riihimäki, Clinic 
Eteläinen Asemakatu 2 A, 11130 Riihimäki 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Mari Himanka

SALO
Mehiläinen Salo, Clinic 
Vilhonkatu 8, Kauppakeskus Plaza, 24100 Salo 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Päivi Aunio

TAMPERE
Mehiläinen Nokia 
Välimäenkatu 23, 37100 Nokia 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Marja Viitaniemi

Mehiläinen Tampere, Clinic and Hospital 
Itäinenkatu 3 (Finlayson area), 33210 Tampere 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Marja Viitaniemi

TURKU
Mehiläinen Artukainen, Occupational health service unit 
Pansiontie 45, 20210 Turku 
Booking 010 414 0666 
Unit Manager Juha Hämäläinen

Mehiläinen Kupittaan Asema, Occupational health service unit 
Joukahaisenkatu 6, 20520 Turku 
Booking 010 414 0666 
Unit Manager Juha Hämäläinen

Mehiläinen Turku, Clinic and Hospital 
Kauppiaskatu 8, 20100 Turku 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Juha Hämäläinen

VAASA
Mehiläinen Vaasa, Clinic and Hospital 
Raastuvankatu 13, 65100 Vaasa 
Booking 010 414 0200 
Unit Manager Kent Söderlund

CDC Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance

For health guidance, please visit the CDC at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/finland.htm.

Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Visitors are cautioned that in greater Helsinki it is not uncommon to encounter individuals who are visibly intoxicated. These individuals will be encountered on public transportation and in the same locations frequented by visitors and tourists.

U.S. Embassy/Consulate Location and Contact Information 

Embassy/Consulate Address and Hours of Operation 

Embassy of the United States of America
Itäinen Puistotie 14 B
00140 Helsinki
Finland

Embassy/Consulate Contact Numbers

For an American citizen emergency after hours, please call the main Embassy number at +358-9-616-250 and select 0.

American Citizen Services Unit Contact Information
Consular services are by appointment only; appointments may be made via: HelsinkiACS@state.gov. 
Phone hours: +358-40-140-5957, 2 pm - 4 pm, Monday through Thursday. 
Mailing address:
American Embassy
Consular Section/ACS
Itäinen Puistotie 14 B
00140 Helsinki, Finland

Regional Security Office: +358-9-6162-5670
Post One:  +358-9-6162-5475

OSAC Country Council Information

The Helsinki Country Council has a diverse membership from many sectors of the U.S. private sector. The Council meets and is chaired by Mikko Rautiainen from Citi. For more information, please contact Mikko.Rautiainen@citi.com.