Living in Finland


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In Finland, Finnish law is followed, and the Criminal Code of Finland defines offences and the punishments for them.

According to the law, the following are forbidden, for example:

  • damaging and stealing another person’s property,
  • violence towards women, men and children,
  • sexual harassment and rape.

Breaking the law will result in serious consequences. If you break the law in Finland, you may be imprisoned or deported from the country.

The police oversee the observance of the law. The police have the right to impose a fine and to catch and arrest a suspect of an offence. Orders given by the police must be followed. The police treat everyone equally and impartially. The police will not take bribes or use violence.

You can always use an interpreter when dealing with the police. The police will get an interpreter and pay for their services.

Information on offencesFinnish | Swedish | English

Penal CodeFinnish | Swedish | English

If you become a victim of crime

If you need the police in an emergency, call the emergency number 112. The emergency number should only be called in urgent situations when a life, health, property or the environment are at risk.

Everyone is entitled to report an offence to the police.

You can report an offence by phone or by visiting a police station personally. You can also file a report of an offence online if the crime in question is minor and you do not need urgent police assistance.

When you have reported an offence, the police will investigate whether an offence has taken place.

Electronic crime reportFinnish | Swedish | English

Instructions on how to file a crime reportFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry of Justice:
Criminal proceedings in district courtFinnish | Swedish | Russian | Arabic

Aid to a victim of crime

Victim Support Finland

If you yourself – or a person close to you – have become the victim of an offence and you need support or practical advice, you can contact Victim Support Finland. The organisation has offices all around Finland.

The support number provides assistance in Finnish: 116 006

  • on Mondays and Tuesdays from 13.00 to 21.00
  • on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 17.00 to 21.00.

You can also send questions to Victim Support Finland via the Internet. The questions can be posted in Finnish, English and Swedish.

If you have fallen victim to a crime, you can contact the legal counsellor of Victim Support Finland and ask about your rights. The service number 0800 161 177 is available from Mondays to Thursdays at 17.00–19.00.

linkkiMinistry of Justice:
If You Become a Victim of a Crime brochureFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | Somali | Arabic

linkkiVictim Support Finland:
Aid to crime victimsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMonika – Multicultural Women’s Association:
Aid and support to immigrant womenFinnish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai

Legal aid to a victim of crime

If your income is low or average, you are eligible for public legal aid (valtion oikeusapu). If you have fallen victim to a serious violent offence, domestic violence or a sexual offence, you can receive public legal aid regardless of your income level.

More information on legal aid is available on the InfoFinland page Do you need a lawyer?

linkkiVictim Support Finland:
Legal advice for victims of crimeFinnish | Swedish

linkkiPublic Legal Aid Office:
Information on legal aidFinnish | Swedish | English

If you are suspected of an offence

The police are obliged to notify you of any crimes you are suspected of committing. You are also entitled to the assistance of a legal counsel, who may accompany you at the interviews. If necessary, you can request an interpreter free of charge.

Persons who have reached the age of 15 can be held liable for their offences, i.e. they can be charged and convicted.

There can also be repercussions for offences committed by persons under the age of 15. Persons who have not attained the age of 15 are liable to pay compensation for any damage they cause. A report on the offender will also be made to the child welfare services, and the circumstances of the person in question will be examined together with the social services.

More information on legal aid is available on the InfoFinland page Do you need a lawyer?