Country Listing

Finland Table of Contents



Responsibility for law enforcement and for the maintenance of public security rested entirely with the central government. No police forces were maintained by lower levels of government. The minister of interior exercised control over all police forces through the Police Department, one of the departments of the Ministry of Interior. It functioned as the central command unit supervising the two types of ordinary police forces--town police and rural police--as well as three special police units, the Central Criminal Police (Keskusrikospoliisi--KRP), the Mobile Police (Liikkuva--LP), and the Security Police (Suojelupoliisi-- SUPO). The total personnel complement of the police, as of late 1988, was 8,341, of whom approximately 200 were women.

The RVL, a paramilitary force with responsibilities for guarding Finland's borders and for maintaining public order and safety in frontier and coastal areas, was also under the supervision of the minister of interior in peacetime. Its headquarters was the Frontier Guard Department, a separate division within the ministry. The personnel strength of the RVL was roughly half that of the police.

Data as of December 1988