Important legal notice
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“Towards a common approach to assessing the costs of crime.”

The problem

There is no recognised common standard within the EU by which the costs of crime are calculated and assessed. A review of practice in the 27 Member States would help establish common standards. Such common standards are essential if the situation in different European countries is to be compared accurately and approaches to criminality and the penal system are criteria by which new applications for EU membership are to be judged.

CRCC  Crime fighting costs in context


Only recently have EU countries started estimating the cost of crime with little agreement on how to calculate these costs. CRCC will review the methods of the different Member States. It will then develop a code of ‘best practice’ and assess how this might be applied within the penal system of an EU applicant country. Special attention will be dedicated to policies aimed at preventing recidivism and the ethnographic aspects of repressing drug-related crime. Recommendations will seek to recognise the range of differing views among professionals and the public on penal practice.

Contribution to policy development:

  • The CRCC project will improve conceptual criminological knowledge and the empirical basis for policy-making across Europe.
  • The project will provide a comparative summary of penal systems and practice across the EU and recommend to policy-makers a code of common standards.
  • The improved quality of information that CRCC provides will enable policy-makers to make more informed assessments of new crime prevention and crime reduction strategies.

Project deliverables

  • Report on the direct and indirect costs of crime – July 2007
  • Report on European prison standards – January 2008
  • Empirical-ethnographic inquiry on recidivism, penal system selectivity and social costs of detention – July 2009
  • Report on the direct and indirect costs of drug-related crimes: the role of prison and community sentences – August 2008
  • Publication of final results and policy proposals – December 2008


  • Project website – June 2007 (launch) with regular updates
  • Participants keep all their national and international contacts fully informed of progress – ongoing
  • Project workshops targeted at stakeholders – as necessary

Technical information

Project acronym: CRCC
Project’s official full title: Crime Repression Costs in Context
Research priority: Improved means to anticipate crime trends and causes, and to assess the effectiveness of crime prevention policies; assessment of new challenges related to illicit drug use
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 44351
Start date: January 2007
Kick off meeting: January 2007
Completion date: December 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Veronica Beneitez-Pinero,

Coordinator: Prof Emilio Santoro
Name: Università di Firenze – Dipartimento di Teoria e Storia del Diritto
Abbreviated name: Unifi
Address: Via delle Pandette
35 - 50127 Firenze
Tel.: +39 (0)55 4374314
Fax: +39 (0)55 4374925 


Name: Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci
Abbreviated name: Michelucci
Country: Italy 

Name: Bremen Institute for Criminal Policy Dept. of Law, University of Bremen
Abbreviated name: BRIK Uni Bremen
Country: Germany         

Name: Law Institute of Lithuania
Abbreviated name: Law Institute
Country: Lithuania          

Name: Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Socilogia, Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa
Abbreviated name: CIES - ISCTE
Country: Portugal           

Name: Universitat de Barcelona – Observatorio del Sistema Penal y los Derechos Humanos
Abbreviated name: OSPDH
Country: Spain   

Name: University of Miskolc – Faculty of Law, Institute of Criminal Justice
Abbreviated name: Miskolc
Country: Hungary

Name: Research and Development Centre – Intercollege  
Abbreviated name:RDC-I
Country: Cyprus

Name: University of Ankara – Department of Sociology
Abbreviated name: A.Ü.
Country: Turkey 

Name: Centre for the Study of Democracy  
Abbreviated name: CSD
Country: Bulgaria