Finland's Burglaries Drop 40 Percent Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
06:53 GMT 22.09.2021 (Updated: 07:00 GMT 22.09.2021)
The Finnish police identified remote work and closed borders as part of efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic as the reason behind the drop in burglaries, which in some parts of the coutry fell by as much as 60 percent.
The number of burglaries at Finnish cottages has fallen by over 40 percent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many remote workers spent more time in the countryside.
In some regions of the country, the drop reached 60 percent.
“There are definitely many reasons. One of the biggest factors is that people have been telecommuting from their cottages for the last year and a half. As a result, they spend more time in residence,” Detective Inspector Jarmo Katila of the Southwest Finland Police Department told national broadcaster Yle.
According to Katila, an occupied residence, or the presence of neighbours, clearly reduces its attractiveness in the eyes of burglars.
However, the police named other COVID-related contributing factors besides telecommuting, such as closed borders and more rigorous controls.
“Tighter border controls prevented foreign criminal elements from entering Finland,” Katila maintained.
Leif Malmberg of the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department pointed out statistics showing that the total number of crimes against property committed by foreign nationals visiting Finland declined during the pandemic.
Lastly, a growing numbers of Finnish homes are nowadays equipped with some sort of electronic security system, which Hannu Tarkkio, Satakunta's managing director of security services, described as a result of a “more connected world”.
“Cottages are now much better equipped in terms of electricity and telecommunications. As a result, installing a surveillance system is easier and cheaper,” he mused.
The advanced security and alarm systems don't only prevent breaking and entering, but also help police solve burglaries.
Since the start of the pandemic, Finland has seen a slew of restrictive measures, including bans on public life and crowded places, culminating in a lockdown, during which the entire capital area was cordoned off under police supervision.
The Nordic nation of 5.5 million people has recorded 136,000 COVID-19 infections and some 1,050 deaths and has been praised for its handling of the pandemic as one of the least-affected countries in Europe.
20 November 2020, 06:47 GMT
However, the pandemic also coincided with an unprecedented spike in domestic violence (including aggravated assault and even homicide), which psychologists attributed to restricted contacts with the outside world, disrupted social networks, as well as substance abuse.