Crime in Europe by F. Heidensohn

By F. Heidensohn

Crime in Europe seems on the styles of crime and policing within the new Europe of the Nineteen Nineties. The individuals take on quite a lot of matters in an try and determine a very comparative and suitable criminology for Europe.

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This upward trend runs parallel to a gradual rise in affluence, social security, quality of housing, level of education and health services across western Europe. This obvious positive correlation between levels of crime and levels of prosperity cannot be reconciled easily with the conventional criminological wisdom that poverty breeds crime. On the contrary, the western European experience suggests that crime rates go up jointly with the Gross National Product (GNP). The ranking of European nations in terms of victimisation rates or official crime rates does not lend support to the ‘poverty breeds crime’ thesis either.

In Hungary the respective figures were 157,539 and 1,477. In general, crime appears to be increasing. 8 per cent. 2 per cent respectively. In the GDR, data concerning crimes known to the police are not available but it is possible to use data concerning convictions by courts. In 1980–6 there was an annual average of 121,152 convictions, that is 726 convictions per 100,000. 8 per cent. In Poland, during the period in question, there were 142,310 convictions per year on average (333 per 100,000).

There are signs that crime prevention in at least some western societies will once again become oriented towards tackling the social problems which form the background of (serious) crime. The pendulum may soon start to swing back. In France, but also in Italy, crime prevention of the social reform type seems always to have retained its appeal (Waller 1989). In the UK and the Netherlands crime prevention is now relaunched as part of integrated urban renewal projects tackling unemployment, housing prob-lems and crime in deteriorated city areas.

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