Overview - Crime and criminal justice

Crime and criminal justice – Overview

Introduction

Image illustrating criminal justice

What information can I find here?

Since 2008, the crime statistics published by Eurostat cover:

  • Police-recorded offences by type of crime;
  • Homicide victims by age, gender, and relationship to offender;
  • Offenders by justice process stage (suspected, prosecuted, convicted) and by age and gender;
  • Personnel by institution (police, prosecution, courts, and prisons) by gender;
  • Legal cases by type and stage;
  • Prisoners by age, gender and citizenship;
  • Prison capacity and occupancy.

Official crime statistics are available for EU Member States, the United Kingdom, EFTA Countries, EU Candidate Countries, and EU Potential Candidates. For the periods prior 2008, a limited set of statistics is available in the database. 

Note to users:

When analysing these statistics, please keep in mind that the data refer only to crimes recorded by authorities. This depends – among other things – on reports to the police from victims and witnesses. Inferring about crime occurrence from official crime figures can therefore be misleading. Furthermore, production of official crime statistics, such as how crimes are defined and counted, varies between countries and comparisons between countries can therefore be misleading (see here for more information).

How are these data collected?

The basic data are produced by authorities in each country, such as police, prosecution, courts and prisons, and the statistical office. Each country establishes criminal laws, crime definitions, law enforcement, legal proceedings and reactions, and governs national crime statistics.

By agreement, EU Member States, EFTA Countries, EU Candidate Countries, and EU Potential Candidates send the official crime figures to Eurostat. In practice, the figures from the different authorities are collected into one file for each country. This is done once a year, together with the Survey on Crime Trends by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

No records of individual crimes or criminals are sent to Eurostat. Figures requested are the annual totals, in absolute numbers, for each country. Following a checking procedure, some countries are asked about figures that have unexpected values. When the figures are confirmed or corrected, they are uploaded into the Eurostat database.

No editing, estimation, imputation, weighting, seasonal adjustment, or other statistical modifications are carried out by Eurostat.

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