Roma Most Frequently Subjected to Racist Assaults
01 February 2006
According to an article by daily online newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on August 28, 2005, a report commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of the Interior and carried out by the Finnish Police College found that assault is the most common racist crime committed in Finland. Last year, over 550 crimes of a racist character came to the attention of the police. Approximatly one third of these were classified as assault or attempted assault. Other common offences included defamation, discrimination, and making illegal threats. The article continued that the most common victims of racially-motivated crimes are visible minorities, of which Roma constitute the largest group. The next largest groups are Somalis, Russians, Turks, Iraqis, and Iranians.
The report also found that the majority of victims of racist crimes are men, roughly 70% of cases, though crime against women is rising, and that the largest age-cohort is 15-24-year-olds, with over 80% of crimes committed against persons from 15 to 44 years of age. Also, more than 85% of the suspects were men, and more than 40% were males in the 15- 24 years age-group. The largest group among women suspects was those of 35-44 years, where discrimination was the offence in nearly half of the cases reported. The most common crime against males is assault, and against women it is either defamation or illegal threats.