Finnish police have warned that violence during the pandemic has increased, with so many stuck at home.
According to Finnish police, the country has seen an unprecedented rise in cases of domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. While current restrictions have resulted in fewer outbreaks of violent behaviour in public spaces, physical violence within the home has taken a sinister turn, with increasing instances of aggravated assault and even homicide.
The police were called to respond to approximately 14,400 more cases of domestic emergencies (a 28 percent uptick) compared to last year and nearly 18,000 more cases of domestic disturbance or disruptive behaviour (27 percent), National Police Board Chief Superintendent Ari Järvenpää said in a press release.
While the police expected a decline in alcohol-related crime due to the lockdown, they faced an unpleasant surprise as there was a steady rise in offences such as intoxication, disorderly conduct and drunk driving. Reports of alcohol-related crimes grew by 16 percent between January and September this year compared to 2019: 33,000 cases.
The total number of drug-related offences also saw a sharp increase of almost a third (32 percent) during the same period, compared to the previous year.
In October, the National Institute for Health and Human Services (THL) announced the results of a wastewater study that showed a steady increase in long-term drug use. For instance, the combined use of amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine is about three times what it was in in 2012, when the wastewater survey was launched.
To urge people to seek help in time and in the right place, the police launched the campaign \Awake!' It focuses on five phenomena highlighted in the police's analysis of the corona situation: mental illness, substance abuse problems, domestic violence, internet fraud and traffic safety.
So far, Finland remains the least-hit Nordic country, with merely 20,286 Covid-19 cases and 374 deaths. At one point earlier this year, Finland introduced a strict lockdown, in effect cordoning off Greater Helsinki, where most of the nation's coronavirus cases are grouped. The Nordic country also introduced a state of emergency for three months, but has since wound off some of the restrictions on public life. With the goal of preventing the need for a state-wide lockdown, the authorities are instead trying to isolate the disease in different parts of the country.