This report examines victimization rates in Estonia using victimization surveys from 1993, 1995, and 2000.
Crime is considered one of the most serious problems facing Estonia since the 1990’s. The authors explain that in order to get a true picture of crime in Estonia, it is important to use data other than police statistics, which are substantially influenced by the crime reporting behavior of victims and witnesses. As such, the authors draw on data obtained from the International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS), which was conducted in Estonia during February 1993, February 1995, and May 2000. The survey asked respondents about violent and property offenses perpetrated against them or their households during the 5 year period prior to the survey and in 1999. The percentage of people victimized during 1999 was used as the main gauge of crime rates in Estonia. The most prevalent crime in 1999 was theft from a car (9.2 percent); followed by theft from a summer cottage, garden house, or allotment (7.3 percent); assault (6.4 percent); and car vandalism (5.9 percent). These results, which are in agreement with other sociological crime surveys, are categorized and discussed more fully in the report. Compared with other Western European countries, the property crime victimization rate in Estonia is relatively high. The victimization surveys also revealed that most crimes go unreported to police in Estonia, which may be an indication of the relationship between the police and the public. In 1995, only 34.8 percent of crime incidents were reported to police. The 2000 survey revealed that 35.7 percent of crimes were reported to police; not a substantial increase from 1995. Over 40 percent of people surveyed claimed they did not report their victimization to the police because they believed nothing would be done. The report also provides information concerning fear of crime in Estonia, which is relatively high, especially among women, with 52 percent of women feeling unsafe. Attitudes toward punishment, consumer fraud, and corruption are also discussed in the report. Tables, references, appendix
National Research Institute of Legal Policy
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