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Civil Security in Finland 2019 report
Citizens feel that Finland is safe

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 23.1.2020 9.00 | Published in English on 24.1.2020 at 10.27
Press release 3/2020

The majority of Finnish people consider Finland a safe country. People’s concerns and fears can be divided into social and personal factors generating insecurity. Another factor influencing people’s sense of security is the level of trust individuals have in their own abilities and the abilities of their community and society to protect them against threats and overcome different kinds of disturbances in society.

The Civil Security in Finland 2019 report is the third in a series of surveys by the Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK studying the safety and security of citizens and their sense of security. The previous two surveys were carried out in 2015 and 2017. The 2019 report is based on interviews with 3,000 Finns. Nearly all respondents rated their personal safety as good and most of them considered Finland a safe country.  

Everyday risks and extreme weather events cause concern

Nine in ten respondents estimated that the safety of their neighbourhood has remained unchanged in recent years. Traffic accidents, home and leisure accidents, house fires and crimes related to the internet were most commonly listed as everyday risks that cause people concern. When asked about the most likely threats to society, the survey respondents listed problems caused by extreme weather events, rising tensions between population groups, disturbances and/or crimes caused by mass influx of immigrants, and prolonged economic recession, among other issues.

Trust in the media divides people

The trust in the mainstream media is an issue that divides Finns. One in three respondents considered the mainstream media a source of reliable and correct information. Nearly as many thought the opposite. However, the majority of the respondents reported that news headlines do not frighten them. More than half of the respondents felt that the social media contain a lot of deliberately misleading information, and about one in five reported that there is hate speech in the social media and that it frightens them.

The survey findings show that services in society have a significant impact on people’s sense of security. Rescue services, individuals themselves, health services, the police and friends and family are among the main factors increasing people’s sense of security, according to the survey respondents.

“It strengthens people’s trust and sense of security that public authorities are seen and accessible in everyday settings. A sense of security is at least as important a part of security as the number of threats and the probability that they will materialise. Beliefs and fears guide our behaviour and affect our wellbeing – whether they are based on real or imagined risks,” says Researcher Heikki Laurikainen from the Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK.

The survey was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, and the interviews were conducted by Suomen Kyselytutkimus. The survey results were reported by using weighted percentages.

Heikki Laurikainen, Researcher, Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK
tel. +358 40 1477977

Lauri Holmström, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior
tel. +358 50 456 1086

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