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New Database Boasts More Than 200 Years of Data on Crime and Punishment in the Nordic Nations

19 Jun 2024 8:10 AM | Anonymous

The Nordic countries have kept crime and punishment records for almost 200 years. Accessing early records has been difficult, requiring year-by-year searches of handwritten documents. An internet database provides historical criminal statistics to everyone.

University Lecturer Miikka Vuorela of the University of Eastern Finland Law School has produced a database of crime and punishment information from Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden dating back to the early 1800s.

“The openly accessible statistics show how many convictions there have been of each crime annually, how many crimes have been reported to the police, what kind of punishments have been sentenced, and how many prisoners there have been,” Vuorela said of his findings.

Statistics from 1810 to 2022 are gradually added to the database based on authentic sources. Finnish conviction and sentence statistics, prison population statistics, and police offense statistics are available from 1842 to 2022.

The database contains detailed criminal justice statistics from four nations, making it unique. Most of the data has only been provided as annual government reports, never as uniform time series.

The Nordic countries' lengthy history of collecting criminal justice statistics makes them distinctive. Vuorela notes that many countries may not be able to create a similar database.

The user-friendly database allows fresh historical and comparative study on crime and criminal policy in the Nordic nations and is a great resource for crime and punishment history.

The database is at www.criminalstatistics.fi.

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