Crime in Estonia decreased by 5 percent
12. January 2010On the 12th of January, a summary of crime statistics 2009 was introduced at the Ministry of Justice according to which the number of criminal offences registered in Estonia has decreased by 5.1 percent.
According to the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Heili Sepp, primarily the number of violent crimes and traffic offences has decreased. “The number of traffic offences decreased already for the second year in the row, the decrease in the number of violent crimes, however, occurred for the first time during the term of validity of the Penal Code.”
Last year, the most common violent crimes were registered 19 percent less than in 2008. “Violence was registered less frequently both at homes and in public places the number of serious cases of violence also decreased. Whereas, the total number or manslaughters and murders decreased by 9 percent – 69 people died as a consequence of these last year, the number of deceased was 86 in 2008 and 96 in 2007,” said Sepp.
Last year, the number of robberies decreased by 20 percent, the number of larcenies stayed on the same level as last year. “In spite of many people’s fear that the number of criminal offences against property may increase due to the economic recession, the statistics tell a different story. The number of robberies has substantially decreased and when comparing the number of larcenies registered during the second half of 2008 to the same period in 2009, the increase is only 1 percent,” said Sepp.
The Deputy Secretary General explained that due to the amendment to the law only the data on larceny of 2008 and the second half of 2009 can be compared. “Since July 2008, an act constitutes as a criminal offence when a person regularly steals, regardless of the value of the item that was stolen. Earlier, however, everything depended on the value of a stolen object, not how many times in a row the larceny was committed.”
The decrease trend of crime during the last years is also supported by the results of the Crime Victim Survey conducted by the Statistics Estonia last year. “If only five years ago, nearly one third of people questioned fell victim to a criminal offence, then according to the poll conducted last year only one fourth, thus, the proportion of victims has substantially decreased,” said Sepp.
Despite the general decrease in statistics, there are still some types of crime that were registered more last year than in 2008. “For example, the number of illegal entries and computer crimes increased by more than 100 criminal offences, the number of violations of obligation to provide maintenance to child increased by one fifth,” spoke Sepp.
The number of economic offences has also increased dued to the detection of illicit trafficking cases. “The criminal offences related to the violation of the requirements for maintaining accounting and failure to perform obligation to submit petition in bankruptcy also reached the maximum level last years. A record number of criminal offences were also registered pursuant to the section of causing insolvency and a criminal offence concerning market manipulation was registered for the first time,” named Deputy Secretary General.
All in all, the number of criminal offences increased with regard to 74 types of criminal offence and decreased with regard to 126 types of criminal offence.
Criminal activity per 10 000 inhabitants was continually the highest in the capital and the East-Viru County; just like before, the most safe counties were the Hiiu and Saare Counties. “One of the most remarkable changes when compared to the last year in terms of geographical breakdown is definitely the decrease in the number of acts of violence committed in public places in Pärnu,” said Sepp.
Ministry of Justice