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International Crime Business Survey: Findings From Nine Central-Eastern European Cities

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 10 Issue: 2-3 Dated: 2004 Pages: 137-161
Anna Alvazzi Del Frate
Date Published
25 pages
This study conducted a comparative analysis of the experiences and attitudes of businesses in Central and Eastern Europe derived from the International Crime Business Survey (ICBS), which was conducted in nine Central and Eastern European capital cities in 2000.
The majority (57 percent) of the businesses responding to the survey had fewer than 10 employees; 29 percent had between 11 and 49 employees; 12 percent had between 50 and 250 employees; and only 4 percent had more than 250 employees. Among the issues most often cited as major obstacles to doing business were tax regulations followed by corruption. The problem of crime was considered less important but still more important than such issues as price control, investment policies, or labor laws. On average, 27 percent of the businesses were victims of any crime in 1999. Among the crimes mentioned were theft by outsiders (13 percent), burglary and theft by customers (9 percent each), theft from vehicles (7 percent), theft by employees (5 percent), vandalism and theft of vehicles (4 percent each), robbery (3 percent), and assault (1 percent). Approximately half of the victimized businesses reported crimes to the police. One-fourth of the businesses were victims of fraud by outsiders, and 12 percent experienced fraud by employees. Regarding corruption, an average of 9 percent of the respondents reported having been offered bribes, and 19 percent stated that someone had attempted to obtain bribes from the company. An average of 41 percent of the respondents believed that bribes were "very" common or "fairly" common in their line of business. Approximately 38 percent of respondents believed that money had to be paid to public officials to obtain needed public services. Intimidation and requests for protection money by local organized crime groups were frequently mentioned by respondents. 2 tables, 16 figures, and 17 references