International Review of Crime Statistics for years 1994 to 2003

This bulletin brings together statistical information on criminal justice collected by the Home Office and the Council of Europe. The data covers all EU countries, and selected others. The majority of the information has been collected from official sources. The period to 2001 is covered, but more recent data is available on England & Wales (covering the period 2002-2003).

Title: International comparisons of criminal justice statistics
Authors: Gordon Barclay & Cynthia Tavares with Sally Kenny, Arsalaan Siddique & Emma Wilby
Series: Home Office Statistical Bulletin 12/2003
Number of pages: 24
Date published: October 2003
Recorded Crime

Most countries collect data on the total number of crimes recorded but the manner and level of recording can vary quite sigificantly, making direct comparisons difficult. Reasons for differing recording practices include:


Different legal and justice systems

Different definitions of offences, and the offences that are included in the official figures

Rates at which crimes are reported to the police and recorded by them

The rules by which multiple offences are counted

Data quality

With these caveats in mind, the report draws the following conclusions
Total Crime

Over the period 1997-2001 crime rose by an average 4% across the EU. The greatest rises were in France, Greece and Portugal (16%), and the greatest drops were in Italy and Denmark. England & Wales saw a fall of 2% over this period (see graph)

In 2000-2001 there was a rise of 3% on average across the EU. The largest rises were in Greece, Northern Ireland and Spain. Similar comparisons are given in the report for homicide, violent crime, robbery, domestic burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and drug trafficking.


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