Belgium and Spain top Europe’s pre-pandemic robbery league

Spain and Belgium have almost treble Europe’s average number of robberies, topping its robbery league, secondo a Eurostat report.

The figures, compiled from 2016-2019, prima della pandemia, show robberies fell in Europa di 11% over the period, with an average of approximately 55 for every 100,000 persone.

Nel Belgio c'erano 146 police-reported robberies per 100,000, con 134 in Spain. The UK, at that point still in the EU, came third, with a score of 132, with Portugal fourth at 108. Ungheria, a 7.4 per 100,000 persone, had the lowest number of reported robberies.

The Eurostat report covers the EU, il EFTA Paesi, as well as some EU candidate countries e potential candidate countries.

While current pan-European figures have yet to be compiled, the pandemic, through a combination of lockdowns and the collapse of tourism, has seen a drastic fall in most crimes in countries with high crime rates, while it has had less impact on countries where crime was already low, such as Hungary.

This has especially been the case in Spagna dove, paragonato a 2019, street robbery in 2021 fell by 34% and robbery with violence by 22%. In Barcelona the figures were 56% e 32% rispettivamente, twice that of Madrid. As Barcelona is Spain’s – and, infatti, Europe’s – bag-snatching capital, this suggests the decline in tourism has been a decisive factor.

Nel 2018 crime was up 17% in Barcelona, the highest increase in Spain, with an average of 12 robberies an hour, most in areas popular with tourists, according to Spain’s interior ministry.

Other factors are Spain’s high youth unemployment, con più di 40% of under-25s unemployed in some regions. The relative impunity regarding petty theft is also seen as a contributing factor. The theft of goods worth less that €400 is treated as a misdemeanor punishable with a small fine. Repeat offenders are simply fined again as the offences are not cumulative.

Ciò nonostante, the Economist’s 2021 Safe Cities Index ranked Barcelona as the fourth safest city in Europe and 11th in the world. Copenhagen was listed as the world’s safest.

While robbery and pickpocketing have decreased dramatically during the pandemic, Spain’s drug-related crime is up 10% and sexual offences rose in 2021 di 9.2%, government statistics show.

The 4.8m thefts across Europe in 2019 was the lowest figure since 2010, while the 1.1m drug-related crimes were the highest since 2008. Car thefts and homicide were down while there was an increase in assaults and sexual crimes.

Alcuni 36% of all intentional homicide victims in 2019 were female, with over 40% in Germany, Croatia, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

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