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IDM Study: Foretold Insecurity – Crime Trends in Albania

Publication of findings 

IDM published the findings of the study “Foretold Insecurity” – Crime Trends in Albania 2008-2011.
The increase of the crime rate in Albania, particularly its fatal consequences during 2012, was in fact a “warning signal” blinking at least two years ago. The analysis of IDM’s research report on the trends (and figures) of various criminal offenses for the 4-year period, 2008-2011, firmly confirm this finding.

The increasing average of trends of criminal offenses, such as homicide, intentional bodily injury, violent burglary, or other burglaries during 2010-2011, suggests, besides poor institutional performance, an indirect link with other factors, such as economic conditions or political climate in Albania. Particularly distinct is the correlation of the increase of number of criminal offenses from 2009 and on with the “political situation of the country”. The latter ransformed from a peaceful situation and ruling coalition-opposition cooperation in 2008 to a typical political crisis from 2010 and on. The only exception to this correlation is the criminal offense “Crime against freedom of a person”, the average rate of which from second half of 2010 and on is 0.6 criminal cases per quarter, while during January 2008 – June 2010 this rate was 12.9 criminal cases per quarter.

More concretely, the main findings that directly suggest the title of this study “Foretold Insecurity” include the following:

The “Crime against human life” offense (including “Homicide”, “Murder of negligence”, and “Attempted murder” offenses) show a trend of slight increase in the last two years (20102011). The highest number of “crimes against human life” is recorded in the second and third quarters of the year (during April-September) with the largest share (about 2/3 of the total) of “crimes against human life” category belonging to of “attempted murder” criminal offense.

Of particular concern is the increase by almost 40% of the crime rate of “Homicide” criminal offense in the last two years (2010-2011) compared with the period 2008-2009. International statistics on Albania confirm a ‘jump’ from the rate of 2.9 and 2.7 homicides per 100,000 population for 2008 and 2009 respectively to a rate of 4 crimes per 100,000 population during 2010. The number of homicides per 100,000 population in Albania is among the highest in the region.

Concretely speaking, Albania is second to Montenegro for the period 2008-2009, whereas for 2010 it has the highest rate of homicides in the entire region.

“Intentional bodily injury” is another criminal offense that has marked significant increase (starting from 2009 and on). The lowest number of instances of this offense recorded in the first quarter of year 2008 (115 cases) has more than tripled for most quarters of the last two years.

Almost 80% of the total number of ‘injuries’ during the 4-year period has occurred in the years 2009-2011 and year 2011 has marked the highest increase with a total of recorded injury cases reaching as high as 1/3 of the overall number of the four years. It should be note that there is a correlation between the curve of this criminal offense with the rate of recorded cases of “illegal possession of weapons” during the last four years.

The “store burglary” criminal offense is of interest in terms of the approach of police intervention rather than its trend. In fact, almost each ‘peak’ of the number of instances of this offense is followed by a drastic drop. The philosophy of “Police-responsibility-only”, on the other hand, has led to a subsequent increase of this crime rate at an even higher intensity.

Unlike in instances of “Store burglary” where police response is quick, there is a complete lack of attention to “Other burglary” offense, which has been increasing uninterruptedly since 2008. For example, the data on “Other Burglary” rate in the last quarter of 2011 compared with the last quarter of 2008 indicates an increase of about 500%.

  • Last, both “Other burglary” trend and the increasing curve of the “Violent burglary” offense for the last four years suggest that fatal violence in the recently-recorded cases of burglary during the last months of 2012 was warned two years ago at least. Violent burglary in Albania is also increasing as a trend with the rate rising as high as 100% in certain quarters.