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Georgians report feeling safer than ever before

By Ernest Petrosyan
Wednesday, May 30
The crime rate in Georgia has significantly decreased compared to last year, according to a Crime and Security survey report conducted by Gorbi, backed the Ministry of Justice and EU financial support. The survey covered crime and social security issues, public attitudes towards the judiciary, and the penitentiary system.

EU Ambassador to Georgia Philip Dimitrov and the Deputy Minister of Justice Tinatin Burjaliani presented the results of the survey at the Tbilisi Marriott hotel on Tuesday.

Also participating in the presentation of results was Dr. J.J.M. van Dijk, the Peiter van Vollenhoven Chair in Victimology, Human Security, and Safety at the International Victimology Institute.

“The results of the survey are very impressive. The victimization index in Georgia is about ten times less than an average European index, what once again proves that Georgia remains one the most secure countries in Europe,” Burjaliani said.

“When we say that Georgia is one of the safest countries in terms of crime level, we mean only those crimes which were included in the survey, such as personal security, robbery of personal belonging, and vandalism, among 21 other types of crime,” Gorbi Director Merab Pachulia remarked.

According to the report, which surveyed 3001 respondents, only 1.2 % of Georgian citizens were victims of crime last year, which is approximately 13 times lower than in similar European states. Ninety-eight percent of respondents say they are no longer afraid of physical assault; 97% feel that their homes and family members are safe; 94% could not name a district that is too dangerous to walk; 85% feel safe during the day and 82% feel safe at night. Feelings of safety for students at schools also rose, from 81% to 92% since a previous survey.

Eight-one percent of Georgians believe that drug crime has been reduced, although 79% still believe it remains a problem. Fifty-nine percent think that drug users need treatment, and only seven percent want to see them imprisoned. The study confirmed the findings of a previous survey on drug crime conducted by the Prosecutor's Office at the end of 2011.