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http://hdl.handle.net/10609/109801
Title: Conviction Statistics as an Indicator of Crime Trends in Europe from 1990 to 2006
Author: Aebi, Marcelo
Linde Garcia, Antonia  
Keywords: Alphonse de Candolle
Central and Eastern Europe
Convicted persons
Conviction statistics
Crime drop
Crime trends
European Sourcebook
Internet
Routine activities approach
Western Europe
Issue Date: 2-Jan-2012
Publisher: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
Citation: Aebi, M. & Linde Garcia, A. (2012). Conviction Statistics as an Indicator of Crime Trends in Europe from 1990 to 2006. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 18(1), 103-144. doi: 10.1007/s10610-011-9166-7
Also see: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10610-011-9166-7?shared-article-renderer
Abstract: Convictions statistics were the first criminal statistics available in Europe during the nineteenth century. Their main weaknesses as crime measures and for comparative purposes were identified by Alphonse de Candolle in the 1830s. Currently, they are seldom used by comparative criminologists, although they provide a less valid but more reliable measure of crime and formal social control than police statistics. This article uses conviction statistics, compiled from the four editions of the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, to study the evolution of persons convicted in European countries from 1990 to 2006. Trends in persons convicted for six offences ¿intentional homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, and drug offences¿ and up to 26 European countries are analysed. These trends are established for the whole of Europe as well as for a cluster of Western European countries and a cluster of Central and Eastern European countries. The analyses show similarities between both regions of Europe at the beginning and at the end of the period under study. After a general increase of the rate of persons convicted in the early 1990s in the whole of Europe, trends followed different directions in Western and in Central and Eastern Europe. However, during the 2000s, it can be observed, throughout Europe, a certain stability of the rates of persons convicted for intentional homicides, accompanied by a general decrease of the rate of persons convicted for property offences, and an increase of the rate of those convicted for drug offences. The latter goes together with an increase of the rate of persons convicted for non lethal violent offences, which only reached some stability at the end of the time series. These trends show that there is no general crime drop in Europe. After a discussion of possible theoretical explanations, a multifactor model, inspired by opportunity-based theories, is proposed to explain the trends observed.
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10609/109801
ISSN: 0928-1371MIAR
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