Overview Overview

Crime and Criminal Justice

The assessment of trends in crime and criminal justice has been a permanent concern of public, international organizations and a major source of interest and debate for researchers and policy makers.

EUROSTAT collects data on crime and the operation of criminal justice systems in order to make policy-relevant information and analysis available in a timely manner to the European community.

Developing EU Statistics on crime and criminal justice

Providing data on crime in the EU is complicated by considerable differences in the methods and definitions used in the Member States. This should be taken into account when using statistical figures.

Work is in progress to improve the comparability of crime statistics across the EU Member States. The development of a more comparable system of crime and criminal justice statistics is outlined in a European Commission Communication titled ‘Measuring Crime in the EU: Statistics Action Plan 2011–2015' (COM(2011) 713 final).

Annual collection of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics

Since 2014, the figures on crime and criminal justice are collected through a joint Eurostat-UNODC data collection across the EU countries. This joint data collection replaces earlier series published by Eurostat and refers to the period 2008-2014.

Statistics on crime and criminal justice are available at country level for European Union Member States, EFTA countries, EU Candidate countries, and EU Potential Candidates. Data for the United Kingdom (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) appear separately owing to the existence of three separate jurisdictions.

Data are reported by official sources in the countries such as the Police, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the National Prison Administration. Data are compiled by the National Statistics Office. Calendar year or national financial year data are provided in absolute numbers. No seasonal statistical adjustments are carried out.

The survey provides data on:

  • Intentional homicide offences and victims recorded by Police;

  • Assault, sexual violence, rape, robbery and kidnapping offences recorded by Police;

  • Theft, motor vehicle theft and burglary offences recorded by Police;

  • Persons brought into formal contact with the police and/or the criminal justice system;

  • Persons prosecuted;

  • Court input/output statistics;

  • Official capacity of prisons and number of persons held in prisons;

  • Number of police personnel, court personnel and prisons staff.

Additional data on cases processed and drug trafficking are collected and published by Eurostat.