Crime in Europe by F. Heidensohn

By F. Heidensohn

Crime in Europe appears to be like on the styles of crime and policing within the new Europe of the Nineties. The participants take on a variety of concerns in an try to determine a very comparative and appropriate criminology for Europe.

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1 The time seems ripe for a European Crime Prevention Programme, to be sponsored by the European Social Fund, national governments and/or European companies. © 1991 Jan van Dijk Chapter four Crime in eastern Europe1 Ewa Bienkowska INTRODUCTION The study of crime in a single country is fraught with difficulties, which are compounded when comparing crime in several countries. As we all know, crime statistics as provided by the police and the courts are a rather imperfect measure of actual crime levels.

Romania. g. the USSR. g. the GDR. g. Poland. 43 44 Patterns and Trends Availability of foreign statistical information concerning crime in western countries is a separate problem for professionals and academics in eastern Europe; generally, such data are not easily available. In eastern Europe, data concerning crime, except those published in official and widely available statistical publications, are always accompanied by a clause such as ‘for service only’ or ‘for interior use only’. This means that they are covered by secrecy and are intended for use by bodies and institutions which represent the machinery of government which create an official and—in the view of the authorities—a desirable picture of criminality.

Next I shall compare national expenditures on policing and prisons with those on crime prevention (private security, household security measures and governmental crime prevention programmes). In a final section an assessment will be made of the state-of-the-art of crime prevention in Europe so far and of the prospects for new policies in the 1990s. CRIME AND VICTIMISATION RATES In order to put national crime prevention policies in a proper perspective, it is essential to look at national crime figures first.

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