Crime statistics for August – Odessa

Every now and again the blog visits the crime statistics of either Ukraine or Odessa, depending upon what is published, by who, and when.

There are numerous entries relating to how crime statistics are manipulated around the world, and Ukraine is no different.  A brief historical example highlighting a few (and by no means all) the methods employed in the UK here.

The police of Odessa have released to reported (obviously they cannot record what is unreported) crime figures for August in Odessa.  Quite what the “best guess” reported/unreported ratio is remains an unknown quantity.

It should also be acknowledged that August is tourist season and with tourists come both criminal opportunity and itinerant criminality, both of which will have an uplifting effect upon reported crime.

Further, the crimes cited by the police are not an exhaustive list.

Local media reports include busting drug dens/factories, weapons seizures, smuggling, serious and organised criminality, corporate raiding and no end of corruption and “white-collar” shenanigans  – none of which are mentioned or specifically identified in the police figures given to the media.

The figures stated related to the most “street orientated” criminality – violence/assault, theft, and alcohol related naughtiness.

In short they represent a distorted and half-blind, or at least squinting look, at the lower level criminality in Odessa.  A snap-shot is presented that does not provide a clear view, albeit for those wandering around the streets of Odessa it is perhaps the most relevant snap-shot when it comes to “getting caught up in events” – insofar as reported/recorded street criminality is concerned.

The police of Odessa recorded 3 murders, two attempted murders/conspiracy to commit murder (including that upon a female investigator of the Primorsky police department), and a further 17 cases of grievous/serious assault.

70 robberies were recorded, together with almost 600 thefts (which include 40 burglaries/theft from premises (despite the clear legal difference there was no differentiation made in the statistics announced), 76 fraud cases, and 20 vehicle thefts.

57 people were detained who were officially wanted and/or unlawfully at large.

More than 3000 traffic offences were recorded, of which 235 were drunk drivers.

Unfortunately no mentioned regarding the arrest/clear up rate for these crimes were disclosed.  (Successful prosecutions are a different matter entirely – see the above link regarding the UK where the distance and distinction between detection and successful prosecution is made clear.

Nevertheless, for an Oblast of over 2 million citizens, and a city of over 1 million people, considering Odessa’s location and suitability for criminal activity (of historic/legendary infamy) , the seasonal influences, statistical massaging/recording gymnastics, and even accounting for the somewhat distorted picture (by way of obvious exclusions) painted by the statistics released – does a reader not consider even these numbers somewhat low even when taking all that into account?