Under the Police Act, the function of the police is to secure judicial and social order, to maintain public order and security, to prevent and investigate crimes, and to submit cases to prosecutors for decision (consideration of charges).
The police also have to perform such other duties as are separately provided for them by law, and provide anyone with assistance if it falls within their purview.
Police powers and the key principles of policing are laid down primarily in the Police Act, the Coercive Measures Act and the Pre-Trial Investigation Act. Police powers have been formulated in accordance with constitutional and human rights, and to ensure that the Finnish Police are capable of effective cooperation in the fight against international crime. In addition to legislation, police operations are guided by police ethics and citizens' expectations.
The Finnish Police operate on the basis of performance guidance procedures, and the main focus areas and targets are re-evaluated annually in the performance plan.