Persons in the criminal justice system (crim_just)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: European Commission - Eurostat

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

European Commission - Eurostat

1.2. Contact organisation unit

F4: Income and living conditions; Quality of life

1.5. Contact mail address

European Commission - Eurostat

Unit ESTAT.F.4: Income and living conditions; Quality of life

L-2920 Luxembourg

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 08/07/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 08/07/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 08/07/2020

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The figures from 2008 onwards for criminal justice system are based on the joint Eurostat-UNODC data collection. It is available at country level for European Union Member States, EFTA countries, EU Candidate countries, and EU Potential Candidates.

 The statistics include:

  • Persons in the criminal justice system on suspects and offenders by legal status (suspected/prosecuted/convicted) and sex, by legal status and age (juvenile/adult), and by legal status and citizenship (reporting country/foreign country).
  • Personnel in the criminal justice system are available by sex such as professional judges, police officers and adult/juvenile prison staff.
3.2. Classification system

Crimes are classified by the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS).

Regions are classified by Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS).

Legal status is classified according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime definitions.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions



Persons Brought into Formal Contact with the Police and/or Criminal Justice System

Definition:  May include persons suspected, or arrested or cautioned for a criminal offence, at the national level.


Comments by countries- Persons Brought into Formal Contact with the Police and/or Criminal Justice System

MT: Registered in the NPS as possibly related to a crime incident. Discrepancy of 4.2.1 with 4.2.2 + 4.2.3 in all years is due to unavailability of date of birth/age.

AT: All ages are included.

RO: Persons investigated in files solved by the police / declined to the Prosecutor's Office. Source: General Inspectorate of Romanian Police within the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

FI: Process of calculating persons age has been changed to more register based rather than just rely on what the police has recorded.

SE: All suspected persons, including persons with unknown gender.

IS: Penal code and special laws, not traffic laws in 2016-2018.

DE: Adults MALES AND FEMALES    Source: Police Crime Statistics (PCS; table 20).

MT: Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Under 18 years of age.

AT: Adults MALES AND FEMALES    Age 18+ years.

AT: Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES Age 14 to 17 years.

IS: Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES  Juveniles: 15-17 years old.

CH: Adults MALES AND FEMALE. For a few persons the sex is unknown. For this data, we only can consider the following laws: Criminal Code, Narcotics Act, Foreign Nationals and Integration Act.

CH: Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. For this data we only can consider the following laws: Criminal Code, Narcotics Act, Foreign Nationals and Integration Act.

SI: NATIONAL Citizens brought into Formal Contact. Dual citizenships are included in the data.

IS: FOREIGN Citizens brought into Formal Contact. With known citizenship.

NO: FOREIGN Citizens brought into Formal Contact. Excluded those with unknown citizenship.

CH: FOREIGN Citizens brought into Formal Contact. For this data we only can consider the following laws: Criminal Code, Narcotics Act, Foreign Nationals and Integration Act.


Persons Prosecuted

Definition:  Alleged offenders against whom prosecution commenced in the reporting year. Persons may be prosecuted by the public prosecutor or the law enforcement agency responsible for prosecution, at the national level, irrespective of the case-ending decision.


Comments by countries- Persons Prosecuted

DE: The available statistics on public prosecution offices (Staatsanwaltschaftsstatistik) does not collect this kind of information.

EE: Excluding suspected or accused persons against whom proceedings were terminated (e.g., due to lack of public interest). The same persons could appear in different criminal cases.

HR: 25502 adult perpetrators of unknown gender (decision on crime report for unknown perpetrator)

NL: Data exclude legal entities. Data include persons with an unknown age/gender.

FI: Unknown age 2.

SE: All suspected persons who were prosecuted, including persons with unknown gender.

ME: Data refer to known persons. Special Public Prosecutor's office data was included from 2017.

BE: Total persons prosecuted - Adults MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown: 35974 in 2015; 25614 in 2016; 27550 in 2017; 30724 in 2018

BE: Total persons prosecuted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown: 526 in 2015; 720 in 2016; 683 in 2017; 813 in 2018.

FI: Total persons prosecuted - Adults MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown sex 57.

FI: Total persons prosecuted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown sex 1.

NO: Total persons prosecuted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. One person under the age of 15 is included in 2016.

TR:  Total persons prosecuted - Adults MALES AND FEMALES  Adults is defined as age 18 and over.

TR: Total persons prosecuted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Juveniles is defined as age between 12-17.

BE: Total persons prosecuted - NATIONAL Citizens prosecuted. Unknown: 31045 in 2015; 21335 in 2016; 23514 in 2017; 26704 in 2018.

FI: Total persons prosecuted - NATIONAL Citizens prosecuted. Unknown citizens 192.

NO: Total persons prosecuted - FOREIGN Citizens prosecuted. Excluded those with unknown citizenship.


Persons Convicted

Definition: Persons found guilty by any legal body authorized to pronounce a conviction under national criminal law, whether or not the conviction was later upheld. The total number of persons convicted should also include persons convicted of serious special law offences but exclude persons convicted of minor road traffic offences, misdemeanours and other petty offences.

Comments by countries- Persons Convicted

DK: Total persons convicted. The decrease in the stated number in convicted persons in 2015 and 2016 is due to a former inclusion of legal entities. They have now been excluded. NB: 1 male with unknown age in 2017        

DE: Total persons convicted. Source: Federal Statistical Office; Criminal Court Prosecution Statistics (Gerichtliche Strafverfolgungsstatistik; Fachserie 10, Reihe 3; table 1.1; Rechtskräftig Verurteilte).     

IT: Total persons convicted. Provisional data     

SE: Total persons convicted. Only persons receiving a judicial decision. 

IS: Total persons convicted. The Judicial system in Iceland is undergoing changes with a new Case Management system.

CH: Total persons convicted. For this data are consider the following laws: Criminal Code, Narcotics Act, Foreign Nationals and Integration Act, Road Traffic Act.      

FI: Total persons convicted - Adults MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown sex 53           

Total persons convicted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Unknown sex 1

Total persons convicted - NATIONAL Citizens. Unknown citizens 173  

TR: COURTS: Total persons convicted - Adults MALES AND FEMALES. Adults are defined as age 18 and over.   

Total persons convicted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Juveniles are defined as age between 12-17.   

PL: Total persons convicted - NATIONAL Citizens convicted     Data refer to adults only. It is not possible to isolate the number of juvenile convictions from total number of person convicted.          

AL: Total persons convicted - Juveniles MALES AND FEMALES. Juveniles, unknown sex.   




Police Officers
Definition: Personnel in public agencies as at 31 December whose principal functions are the prevention, detection and investigation of crime and the apprehension of alleged offenders. Data concerning support staff (secretaries, clerks, etc.) are excluded.


Comments by countries- Police Officers

DE: Source: Federal Statistical Office of Germany, Statistics on Public Service Personnel. Included are civil servants (excluding trainees) as headcount as at 30 June in the functional area Police in the framework of the Statistics on Public Service Personnel. The values for reference year 2017 partly were revised .

EE. : "Police Personnel" are as at first of January 2019 (excl. administrative personnel).

NL: Revised data for 2015 to 2018, all police personal was counted, including non-operational personnel.

LI: Full-time equivalents.

CH: Includes: policemen, policewomen, safety assistants, civilian personnel, police aspirants and so forth.

TR: Data include the total number of personnel of both institutions (General Directorate of Security and General Commandership of Gendarmerie); the data of Gendarmerie include the number of personnel of Public Security Department.


Professional Judges

Definition: Both full-time and part-time officials as at 31 December authorized to hear specifically criminal cases, including in appeal courts, and to make dispositions in a court of law. Please also include authorized associate judges and magistrates


Comments by countries- Professional Judges

DE: Data source: Bundesamt für Justiz (; Statistics on Judges (Richterstatistik; Arbeitskraftanteile am 31. Dezember des Berichtsjahres); This statistics is done only every two years. The recent reference year 2016 was published in December 2017.

EE: All judges for reference yeat 2018 are collected on February 2019, regardless of their work profile (2015 figure does not cover all judges).

LV: Data reported in 2015, 2016 and 2017 revised excluding the Judges of the Administrative courts because they  do not deal with Criminal cases.

LU: For the reported year 2017, only 'Cour supérieure de justice' and 'tribunaux d'arrondissement' were counted. 'Justice de paix' , 'Cour administrative' and 'Tribunal administratif' were excluded.

RO: Source: Superior Council of Magistracy.

FI: The increase of judges is mainly for resolving the increased immigration cases.


Prison Personnel
Definition: All individuals employed in penal or correctional institutions as at 31 December, including management, treatment, custodial and other (maintenance, food service etc.) personnel


Comments by countries- Personnel in adult prison

DK: All personnel in Prison (not Probation and Halfway houses).

DE: Data Source: Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJV), Prison Staff as at 1st September; The Statistics does not distinguish between Adult and Juvenile Prison.

PL: Refers to prisons where only adults are held.

RO: Source: National Administration of Penitentiaries within the Ministry of Justice.

EL: These numbers include also the "juvenile prison personnel".

LV: Previously provided data has changed because it was counted manually. The revised data is processed and prepared by using resource management system "Horizon".

MT: Figures include juvenile prison personnel. Officers carrying out duties at the Juvenile prison also carry out duties at the adult prison depending on necessity and demand.

SEL: Total number of staff working inside prison and remand institutions (incl. administration, management, treatment, medical care, maintenance, food service etc.).

UKC-L: Figures are based on headcount and reflect position as at 31 December each year. Methodology used for revised historical figures does not necessarily match the approach used previously.

NO: Includes all prison personnel, in both adult and juvenile units.


Comments by countries- Personnel in juvenile prison 

DE: Data Source: Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJV), Prison Staff as at 1st September ; The Statistics does not distinguish between Adult and Juvenile Prison.

PL: The personnel of prisons (in which also juvenile are held), detention and correctional centres is included.

SE: Reported figures refer to all staff working within the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care. Thus, figures refer not only to juvenile prison staff, but also staff working in substance abuse homes for adolescents and adults. In total, juvenile prisons have a capacity for 58 adolescents 2018.

ME: Officers for work with juveniles are not separately separated in the Institute for execution of criminal sanctions.

IT: Data refer to personnel of Prisons for minors, first centre Aid, Public Community; Data exclude personal of private Community. It is included penitentiary policemen that works with minors.

PT: Counts only the employers working in educational centres, leaving out the people who work in the central services.

FI: There are no specific institutions for young offenders.

UKC-L: Figures are based on headcount and reflect position as at 31 December each year. Methodology used for revised historical figures does not necessarily match the approach used previously.


More details in methodological rules are available in explanatory text (metadata) attached to Crime and Criminal Justice (crim) database section 10.6

3.5. Statistical unit

There are three different statistical units:

  • Offence: reported criminal act
  • Case: criminal trial, and other types of court hearings
  • People, depending on the stype of statistics: employees, victims, offenders, suspects, prosecuted, convicted, prisoners


The following list shows the statistical unit for persons in the criminal justice system database table:





Suspects and offenders by sex - number and rate for the relevant sex group



Suspects and offenders by age - number and rate for the relevant age group



Suspects and offenders by citizenship



Personnel in the criminal justice system by sex - number and rate for the relevant sex group



3.6. Statistical population

For administrative data, the statistical population for each statistic is the complete register (all the relevant records). The group of individuals depends on the type of unit (see 3.5).

For people, all ages and nationalities are usually counted.

3.7. Reference area

European Union Member States, EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, EU Candidate countries Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, Serbia, and the EU Potential Candidate countries Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Certain territories are excluded and more details are provided in metadata attached to Crime and Criminal Justice (crim) databse section 10.6

 England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) are different territories of jurisdiction for criminal law, and separate figures are presented.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The current tables are available  from 2008 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Publications 2008 – 2018 used 2008 as base year.

4. Unit of measure Top
  • Absolute number.
  • Rate by 100.000 population size.

 Population size defined as resident population January 1st according to Eurostat database population figures.

5. Reference Period Top

The standard reference period is the calendar year.

For criminal justice personnel the standard reference date is 31 December.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

The 2004 Hague Programme November: Strengthening freedom, justice and security in the European Union.

The Hague Programme, OJ C 53 of 3.3.2005, p.11 at


The 2009 Stockholm Programme: An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

In general, data are released approximately 18 months after the reference year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Ad hoc news releases 2-3 times per year.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

"Crime and Criminal Justice" - Statistics Explained  published on February 2020 .

Publication Crime section -

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Tables are available on-line in Eurostat webpage  Crime Database and are updated annually. 

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Statistics Explained articles.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Each country determines the methodology and is responsible for its documentation and  which authority or statistical office that should collect, check, and send data and documentation.

Geographical coverage 
Methodological rules – Stage of data collection 
Methodological rules – Counting unit 
Methodological rules – Use of Principal Offence Rule
Methodological rules – Counting of persons for multiple (serial) offences of the same type
Methodological rules – Counting the same person multiple times in the same year
Methodological rules – Adult and juvenile age thresholds

  • EU guidelines for the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes — 2017 edition  This booklet presents the structure of the ICCS, its classification principles and its relations to existing classifications, to facilitate the implementation of the ICCS. It provides a brief overview of concrete organizational and technical tasks for a successful implementation of the ICCS at the national level, which should engage all crime data users and data providers. In addition, an implementation strategy through the creation of a correspondence table, a tabulation of all offence categories in the ICCS linked to all offences on the national level, is briefly described.
  • Monitoring EU crime policies using the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) This publication is the second in a series of Eurostat booklets to support the implementation of the ICCS, with the first booklet providing general remarks, a roadmap for the implementation as well as translations of ICCS category titles in all official EU languages. The overall purpose of this second booklet is to describe how the specific criminal offences defined in the legislation passed at EU level should be mapped to the ICCS. For these offences, a common approach towards the alignment with the ICCS needs to be developed, where possible, to ensure that all EU Member States treat these offences consistently when applying the ICCS at national level. 
10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not applicable.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Data are provided to Eurostat by a contact designated by each country. Notably, this contact can be another authority than the national statistical office. Each country determine its own procedures for gathering data from several different authorities (see metadata attached to Crime and Criminal Justice (crim) database point 10.6 ).

11.2. Quality management - assessment

No assessment has been made.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The need to provide information on the development of crime in the European Union was recognised in the Hague Programme adopted by the European Council in 2004.

Some EU institutional users communicate statistical needs to Eurostat on a regular basis.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No user satisfaction survey has been done .

12.3. Completeness

Data is missing for some countries, for some or all years, in nearly all tables, for all types of statistics.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Principally, administrative crime statistics indicates the registration and handling of cases by authorities.

Relative to the administrative data used, the accuracy is largely unknown.

Relative to total crime occurrence, it is generally considered that administrative crime statistics is less accurate.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable - data are from administrative records.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Data from administrative records are likely to contain some random errors (mistakes) as well as systematic errors (bias).

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

 Data for the reference year 2018 was published in July 2020.

14.2. Punctuality

No delay in 2020.  

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Comparability is affected by many factors, such as differences in:

  • Legal system and criminal justice system
  • Legislation, criminal law and legal definitions
  • Organisation and efficiency of police, prosecution, courts and prisons
  • Recording stage, input-,  process- or output data
  • Recording system, reporting system, and production system
  • Relation between national crime definition and international statistical definition
  • Statistical unit and statistical population
  • Statistical definition, reference time, counting methods and calculation methods
  • Reporting rate for the crime
15.2. Comparability - over time

See the list of factors in 15.1. Changes in any of the factors can affect the comparability over time.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not examined. 

15.4. Coherence - internal

The internal coherence of the data is checked with basic validation rules (see section 18.4. Data validation). Figures for categories may not add up to the total, because information for some categories is missing.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Not estimated.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Revisions to the data are possible at any time, but only based on new data received from national contact.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Revisions are incorporated into the database after being confirmed by national contact.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data source: prosecution

The source data type is records in administrative registers.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

Since their data requests largely overlap, Eurostat cooperates with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  Eurostat forward the United Nations request (Survey on Crime Trends), with the addition of the European Union request, to EU Member States, EFTA Countries, EU Candidate Countries, and EU Potential Candidates. In each country, figures from different authorities are collected into one file. The files are sent to Eurostat by a common procedure, the electronic Data file Administration and Management Information System.

18.4. Data validation

The data are checked for completeness, internal consistency, and consistency over time and coherence with other relevant data sources. For internal consistency the following are checked:

- The sum of the subtotals (e.g. men and women) to the total.

- Large revisions (new figures for earlier years)

- Large variation between years

- Large change from previous to current reference year- Inconsistencies between data and metadata

Any issue revealed by the checking is pointed out to the national contact, by email. The national contact may either confirm the validity of data or send new data. No editing, estimation, imputation, weighting, seasonal adjustment, or other statistical modifications are carried out by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation

EU totals are not published in the database.

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustments are made.

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top