How Safe Is Finland?

Helsinki aerial, Finland

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Finland was named the safest country in the world according to a 2017 biennial report from the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

There are no major safety issues in Helsinki, as long as you are aware pickpocketing does happen, and there are a couple of shady spots in Helsinki which solo travelers may want to avoid at night. The countryside is practically crime free.

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While the capital city of Helsinki is quite safe for travelers, keep in mind that just like any other large city, Helsinki has its share of petty thieves during the busy summer travel season. Watch your wallet, and be careful at ATM machines, since credit card skimming appears to be on the rise. Avoid leaving personal possessions unattended. 

Are you planning on enjoying the nightlife in Helsinki? Single travelers should avoid Kaisaniemi Park in downtown Helsinki, as well as Central Station in the Finnish capital at night. There is a tendency for criminal activity at those locations.  

Violent crime is rare but, as in other large cities, sexual assaults do occur. You should remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times.

Organized crime rings from the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries are present in Finland.

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Rural Areas

The rural areas of Finland are much safer than Finland's capital. Crime rates are practically nonexistent and general safety issues are mostly related to car accidents. The biggest threat to your personal safety is a moose crossing the road. Driving tip: Keep your headlights on at all times.
Expect to wait a little longer for emergency services if you are in a rural, remote region. It is advisable to carry water and a flashlight with you when you leave the metropolitan areas. 

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International Terrorism

According to the U.S. Department of State, "...all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations." This appears to be a blanket warning that the State Department has issued for all European countries. The State Department seems to have more concern with France, England, and Spain, where terrorist activity has higher potential.

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What to Do If Crime Occurs

If you are a victim of or witness a crime, report crime to the local police by dialing 112. Also, contact the U.S. Embassy at +(358) 9-616-250. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Officers from the American Consulate work with crime victims and can help with the local police and medical systems. The office of Overseas Citizens Services will stay in touch with family members in the United States and can help provide U.S.-based resources for the victim when possible.

Before you leave the U.S. to consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This program is a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll in their trip to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. As part of this service, you can receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. Also, it makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy and your stateside family and friends to contact you in an emergency, like a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

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