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CITIES WITH LITTLE CRIME - THE CASE OF SWITZERLAND

NCJ Number
52109
Author(s)
M B CLINARD
Date Published
1978
Length
223 pages
Annotation
BASED ON DATA GATHERED IN 1973, THIS STUDY ANALYZES THE CRIME SITUATION IN SWITZERLAND AS COMPARED TO THAT OF THE U.S., SWEDEN, AND WEST GERMANY. SOURCES INCLUDE OFFICIAL AND INSURANCE RECORDS, MEDIA, AND VICTIMIZATION SURVEYS.
Abstract
LIKE THE U.S., WEST GERMANY, SWEDEN, AND SWITZERLAND IS A HIGHLY INDUSTRIALIZED, URBAN, AND AFFLUENT SOCIETY, BUT IT CLAIMS A LOW INCIDENCE OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE AND ROBBERY. MEASURED BY GOVERNMENT REPORTS, PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS AND DEBATES, A SURVEY OF ATTITUDES TOWARD CRIME IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, INTERVIEWS WITH CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL, AND MEDIA COVERAGE, CRIME IS NOT A PUBLIC CONCERN IN THE COUNTRY. OFFICIAL STATISTICS COVERING PERIODS FROM 1951 TO 1973 GENERALLY REFLECT A COMPARATIVELY SMALL AMOUNT OF CRIME IN SWITZERLAND AS WELL AS A LOW UPWARD TREND, OR EVEN A DECREASE, IN VARIOUS CRIME RATES. INCIDENCE OF VIOLENT CRIMES IS EXTREMELY LOW COMPARED WITH U.S., SWEDEN, AND GERMANY. THE NATURE OF THE SWISS POLICE AND THEIR CRIME REPORTING METHODS ARE DISCUSSED IN RELATION TO THE OUTCOME OF A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF CRIME REPORTS. A ZURICH CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED IN 482 HOUSEHOLDS AND SURVEY DATA WERE COMPARED WITH SIMILAR DATA FROM THE U.S. DENVER (COLO.), PORTLAND (OREG.), STUTTGART (GERMANY), LONDON (ENGLAND), COPEHAGEN (DENMARK), AND SWEDEN. RESULTS SHOWED THAT HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL CRIME IN ZURICH IS NOT HIGH, COMPARATIVELY; BURGLARY AND THEFT RATES IN ZURICH ARE LOWER THAN THOSE IN STUTTGART AND U.S. CITIES, AND INDIVIDUAL VICTIMIZATION RATES ARE ALSO LOW. DATA OBTAINED ON THEFT AND BURGLARY INSURANCE PAYMENTS AND RATES CHARGED IN SWITZERLAND REFLECT LOW CRIME RATES. THERE ARE EXTENSIVE WHITE COLLAR CRIME AND TAX VIOLATIONS IN THE COUNTRY. HOWEVER, THE PROPORTION OF SWISS YOUTHS AGED 14-18 INVOLVED IN CRIME IS NOT GENERALLY HIGH. THE TYPICAL OFFENDER IN THE U.S. IS UNDER 18, UNDER 16 IN SWEDEN, AND OVER 18 OR 20 IN SWITZERLAND. CRIME RATES AMONG FOREIGN WORKERS IN SWITZERLAND ARE LOW. THE FINAL CHAPTER DISCUSSES CROSS-CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE LOW SWISS CRIME RATE. APPENDIXES CONTAIN DATA ON CRIME TRENDS AND CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS IN SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN, AND GERMANY, AS WELL AS THE ZURICH SURVEY METHODOLOGY, INSTRUMENT, AND DATA. REFERENCES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)