The expert on school safety in Finland: “A lot to work on”

There are many uncertainties surrounding the school shooting in Vantaa, Finland, and how the 12-year-old who has confessed to the crime got hold of the weapon, which is said to have belonged to a relative outside the immediate family.

– If you go to school with a weapon, you can see that there is some degree of planning, said Crime Commissioner Kimmo Hyvärinen to the Finnish Howl.

The school shooting in Finland

  • This has happened: The school shooting in Vantaa

  • Finland has been hit by several school shootings

  • Violence among young people is increasing

    Henri Rickander is a docent in police law and has a long background in violence research in Finland. He says that school shootings have received increasing attention since two major attacks in the country in 2007 and 2008.

    – It is a hot topic and in recent years a small group of young people have started behaving very violently. We have seen that violence in certain groups between the ages of 12 and 15 has increased and become more severe.

    But the violence is concentrated on a very small part of the population. Among those under 30, two percent of men and one percent of women are behind half of the crimes, according to Henri Rickander.

    – A phenomenon we have seen is that young people film acts of violence to create a reputation for themselves in criminal circles, he says.

    Common with weapons in Finland

    – We have many weapons in Finland: For hunting, for sport shooting and for military purposes. But the big question is how the weapon, which is supposed to be locked, ended up with a young child in another household, says Henri Rickander.

    Despite this, he believes that it is very unusual to have firearms in schools, where knives often pose a greater threat.

    – School safety in Finland is very focused on fires, there is a lot to work on in terms of targeted violence. Six percent of young people carry a knife, that is worrying, says Henri Rickander.