Friday, January 20, 2012

Eurostat Criminal Statistics: Sweden low rate of criminals in prison

The following statistics show a range of prisoner population ratios for European countries. There are many factors behind these numbers and they would make for an interesting discussion in any level of criminal justice course and raise questions on how crime is persecuted across Europe.

In most EU countries, crime levels have been decreasing consistently since about 2002. This trend continued in the EU as a whole in the period 2006 to 2009, though the tendency was upwards in a number of individual Member States, including Romania, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal and Finland. Rises were also recorded in Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The results of a collection of data for the period 2003-2009 from European countries are presented in "Statistics in focus". The topics covered include crimes recorded by the police (total crime, homicide, violent crime, robbery, domestic burglary, motor vehicle theft and drug trafficking), the prison population and the number of police officers. Police recorded figures suggest that, in the EU, total crime rose from 1999 to reach a peak about 2002 but has fallen consistently in the last few years.

Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Slovenia had the lowest numbers of prisoners per head of population in Europe, with fewer than 70 prisoners per 100 000 population, while the rate in Sweden and Norway was marginally higher, figure 4 below.

From: Crime and Criminal Justice, 2006-2009 - Issue number 6/2012 

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