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Patterns and Trends of Crime in Ethiopia - A Comparative Analysis of the Crime Problem in the Pre-And Post Revolution Periods

NCJ Number
Indian Journal of Criminology Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1986) Pages: 66-85
A Tesfaye
Date Published
20 pages
Although a decline in Ethiopia's crime rate from prerevolutionary (1964-1974) to postrevolutionary (1974-1983) times cannot be established from this study, crime patterns have changed due to radical modifications in social and political structures.
Prior to the 1974 revolution, Ethiopia was a feudal society having a distinct stratification with the Emperor as the head of the political, social, economic, and religious systems. As a result of the archaic economic system, rural-urban migration, unemployment, and underemployment, crime, delinquency, and prostitution were rampant. Police statistics indicate that crimes increased up to 1973-74, when they gradually began to decline. The crime rate decline after the revolution, however, is based on unreliable and incomplete police statistics, and they cover a period when tight curfews undoubtedly reduced crime. Postrevolutionary changes in crime patterns, however, can be discerned. The nationalization of rural and urban lands as well as the establishment of Peasants' Associations and Urban Dwellers' Associations have radically changed the social, economic, and political structures under which people live, thus creating changed crime opportunities. The crimes of embezzlement, the misuse of public funds, and other property crimes have increased in the postrevolutionary period. Breaches of new regulations constitute new forms of criminality which involve the hoarding of consumer goods, the violation of price regulations, and black-market trafficking in goods. 30 references and 8 tables.


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