Itsenäisen Suomen poliisi

The online exhibition The police of independent Finland provides an account of how the work and professional skills of the police have evolved during the past century. The exhibition features about a hundred photographs that illustrate these changes. Although much has changed, police officers have for many decades struggled with certain persisting challenges, including public disturbances caused by intoxication and other social problems. The police have carried out these tasks according to the instructions they have received from lawmakers, sometimes meticulously, sometimes less strictly.

In the early years of Finnish independence, police officers were feared officials, but they have since become an everyday source of safety widely trusted by the general public. The basis for the current service culture of the police was created in the 1950s as policemen were taught to be friendly, approachable and willing to guide the citizens. Many aspects about police work have changed considerably, including working methods, equipment, education and laws, and over time, police officers have evolved into versatile officials who are able to keep up with the rapid pace of change in society. Compared to the situation in many other countries, the Finnish police is popular among citizens and highly regarded for its work. More than 90 % of Finnish citizens consider the police reliable and impartial.

The online exhibition provides a complement to the current special exhibition at the Police Museum, Public order collapses 1917. The latter introduces key events and trends of the year leading up to Finnish independence, reflecting on the role of the police under such circumstances and highlighting the importance of public confidence in the police in a well-functioning society.


Post-turmoil policing

The 1920s

Officials of a young state

The 1930s

Lawlessness and violence

The 1940s

World War II and wartime circumstances

The 1950s

Gentlemen police and the general strike of 1956

The 1960s

Traffic education and the rise of drug-related crime

The 1970s

Professional specialisation and the police strike of 1976

The 1980s

Occupational safety and revised principles of field work

The 1990s

International and multifaceted police work

The 2000s

Changing laws and new procedures

The 2010s

Internet policing and cybercrime

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