Crime survey shows Georgia to be safer than parts of Western Europe
By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, May 18The Georgian Ministry of Justice presented a survey on the Criminal and Security Situation in Georgia on May 17. The project carried out with the financial support of the European Union said Georgia is one of the safest states in Europe. The co-author of the report Jan van Dijk, Professor of the Tilburg International Institute, said that the number of crimes committed has significantly reduced in the country thanks to the reforms carried out by the Georgian Government in recent years.
3000 respondents from across the country took part in the face-to-face interview process which adhered to EU standards. The project aimed at revealing the level of victimization in the country, people’s concern about crime and punishment as well as the judiciary system as a whole. The research has shown that the number of criminal cases has significantly decreased from 1992 while the level of victimization in Georgia has been minimal compared with the other European countries.
“We have financed the research for getting familiar with the criminal situation in Georgia and the ways in which the country is fighting against crime but the results were more amazing than we had expected,” EU Ambassador to Georgia Philip Dimitrov told the media. “7 years ago people felt absolutely unsafe but this trend has disappeared and the Georgians feel calmer than people in more developed states,” Dimitrov added.
The level of victimization in Georgia in terms of robbery and theft is lower now than it is in Germany, Japan or Sweden. The average level of victimization (including ten different crimes) is 15.8% in the EU and Georgia's level is significantly lower at 1.6%. Expressing their trust towards the activities of the police, General Prosecutor’s Office and the justice system in Georgia the majority of the interviewed people said they would cooperate with the officials in investigating criminal cases.
Eka Zguladze Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs of Georgia (MIA) expressed her content towards the results of the survey adding that the United Nations Global Survey had also named Georgian police as one of the most non-corrupt law enforcement bodies in the world with the greatest public trust. “The most important thing for me was that people had ad good experiences with officers on patrol,” Zguladze said stressing how the survey would help her define new strategies within MIA.
Deputy General Prosecutor Davit Sakvarelidze also welcomed the European experts’ report on Georgia. Comparing the criminal situation of Georgia with European countries, Sakvarelidze hoped that “this trend would be sustained in the country” and hoped that “the level of crime would be minimized in future”.