Policing in Finland: The Cultural Basis of Law Enforcement

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Examines the reciprocal relationship between Finnish culture and Finnish policing. Cultural values, socio-economic and political backgrounds are used as the foundation to explain how the police work in Finland. Unlike many nations, the Finns consistently rank their police force as the most trustworthy among all the public institutions. In turn, the police benefit from a progressive culture in which tolerance, justice, and equality are highly practiced virtues. Through the lens of culture the authors focus on studying both the organization and the crafts of policing in Finland in contrast to police practices in the United States and elsewhere. The history, structure and functions of the Finnish police as well as the street practices are presented, vividly based on extensive fieldwork and personal interviews. This book will contribute to our understanding of why a society gets the police it deserves.


“Dr. Ni He and Professor Dilip K. Das have written this book on the relationship between Finnish culture and policing. It is an ambitious and challenging task ... the authors have succeeded very well. Their book is a compact presentation of a few selected areas linked to policing. With the eyes of outsiders, they describe the Finnish social conditions, the Finnish police organization, and the multiple crafts of policing. In some respects the approach is a historical one, and the book explores the cultural backgrounds of different phenomena ... it is good to get a new and fresh perspective on our nation and culture.” – Professor Ahti Laitinen, University of Turku, Finland

“Are you concerned about police in your country? Then read about a police department that is renowned for its integrity, is the least corrupt in the world and rated above every other institution in the country by its citizens. Read about the police of Finland to learn what makes Finnish police simply the best in the world. It will surprise most to know that police violence and corruption are virtually unheard of in Finland. The police ... continue to be highly regarded and trusted by citizens ... One can only hope that this work will inspire others to follow in suit and that this will lay the basis of a long term interest in the study of policing in Finland.” – Professor Arvind Verma, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University - Bloomington

Table of Contents


Part I. Social Conditions
1. Sisu and All: The Epic of the North
2. Crime and Justice

Part II. Police Organization
3. History and Structure
4. Police Functions
5. Control Mechanisms

Part III. The Crafts of Policing
6. Police Encounter
7. Community Policing
8. Perceptions of Police Work


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