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World Crime Trends and Emerging Issues and Responses in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2014
30 pages
Following a review of global and regional trends in selected crimes, this report discusses the criminal justice response, prison population trends, and international cooperation in addressing global crime.
Crime data reported annually by United Nations member states through the Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems indicate that globally property crimes have decreased considerably; violent crime has, on average, decreased slightly, and drug-related offenses continue to increase. At the regional level, crime trends diverge substantially; for example, over the past decade, violent crime has increased in the Americans, but declined in Asia and Europe. Intentional homicide levels in Southern Africa and Central and South America are considerably higher than the global average. Although average global trends have seen decreasing homicide rates over the past decade, short-term trends are unstable or even increasing in several sub-regions. Rates of arrest and conviction are higher in Europe than in Asia and the Americas. Globally, the large majority of arrestees and convicted offenders are male. Over the past decade, the proportion of female arrestees and convicted offenders has gradually increased in all regions. The proportion of children and youth arrested and convicted has decreased. The global prison population has increased in absolute numbers (10.4 million people at the end of 2012); however, it has remained fairly stable in proportion to the global population. There are high rates of prisoners with an indeterminate or no sentence. The prison population is composed largely of inmates sentenced for violent crime and drug offenses. There are high levels of suicides and homicide among inmates. Regarding international cooperation in criminal justice matters, limited data are available on mutual legal assistance and extradition. The available data show a recent increase in requests for mutual legal assistance and regional variations in extradition requests. 18 figures