An asylum seeker is either the suspect or the victim of a crime, said the Police University College in a press release on Monday.
By – dailyfinland.fi
According to the release, a study conducted by the college based on the database on asylum seekers recorded in 2016 by the police information system found that the most common crimes committed by asylum seekers tend to involve assaults and intimidation at reception centres.
The next most common crimes committed by asylum seekers were property offences, sexual offences, and offences against reception centres and their staff.
The study investigated into crimes involving asylum seekers which had come to the attention of the police. The data consisted of a total of 1,565 reports of crimes. During the reporting year, a maximum of around 30,000 and a minimum of around 20,000 asylum seekers resided in Finland.
“The reports revealed that crimes committed at reception centres are often based on cultural and religious disputes, which cause problems between residents. A situation leading to assault can develop from a very trivial issue,” said researcher Suvi-Tuuli Mansikkamäki of the Police University College.
“Another cause of such problems was the dissatisfaction of asylum seekers with their conditions at the reception centres. Such dissatisfaction is expressed as crimes targeting reception centres and their staff. An asylum seeker may threaten staff or damage movable property in order to get a transfer to another reception centre,” she said.
The total number of victims recorded was 1,066. More than two-thirds of them were men, more than half of them were aged 25 or less, and 49 per cent of them were Iraqi citizens.
A total of 1,052 people were suspected of crimes, 95 per cent of whom were men, just over half of whom were 25 years of age or younger and 62 per cent of whom were Iraqi citizens. Because the same person may have been represented in the data several times, it is likely that the data represents fewer victims and suspects than these figures suggest.
“Iraqis and Afghans became by far the largest groups of asylum seekers entering Finland between 2015 and 2016; statistically, they were also the group most frequently suspected of crimes. In proportion to their numbers, by nationality Algerians, Belarusians and Moroccans have the highest representation among the suspects. However, there are considerably fewer of them among entrants to Finland,” Mansikkamäki said.