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April 23 – April 29, 2012

Crime rates, current state and dynamics

The situation has not changed
Crime rates, current state and dynamics

More than a half of the crimes committed in 2011 and in 2012 are thefts. Moreover, in 2011 the crisis changed the structure of some petty crimes, due to the deteriorated living standards.

The number of “amateur” thefts has increased, in particular, shop lifting from supermarkets by people who have no criminal record. This is a typical symptom of the population’s significant impoverishment. Another trend is increased number of corruption crimes, particularly in construction and education.

In the overall structure of crime, recurrence is high, which indicates the lack of effective crime prevention system, which combined social rehabilitation mechanisms for convicts who have served their sentences.

Nevertheless, Ministry of Interior statistics reflects that 90% of the population has confidence in the law enforcement. Sociological data by IISEPS shows that only 50% of the population unconditionally trusts the law enforcement. About 30% do not feel protected from the tyranny of the power structures.

The average national crime rate in 2011 is 139 crimes per 10 thousand inhabitants. At the same time in some districts of Minsk and Mogilev regions this figure is somewhat higher. The lowest crime rate in 2011 was recorded in the Vitebsk region.

However, the police statistics should be treated with a share of pessimism. As a rule, in the year-end or end of a reporting period the task is to show the reduced crime levels as compared with previous reports. Crime rate is considered as the main performance indicator. Nevertheless the crimes level remains unchanged or continues to grow.

Non-official reports say that only every third crime is registered. This could be the reason behind the falling crime rates in the majority of the regions over the last year.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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