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A study by the Tirana-based Institute for Democracy and Mediation, IDM, shows that Albania has registered an exponential growth in violent crimes from 2008-to-2011, as the country was embroiled in a divisive political crisis.
|Tirana crime scene | Photo by : Besar Likmeta|
The study, "Foretold Insecurity, Crime Tendencies in Albania from 2008-2011," shows that since 2009, Albania has seen marked growth in violent crimes like murder, battery, robbery and theft.
Gjergji Vurmo, an expert at IDM and author of the report, told Balkan Insight that the data underscores not only a failure of law enforcement agencies, but also of politicians and Albanian society with its distrust of the rule of law.
“The data shows clearly a worsening tendency for all crime statistics analyzed in the study,” Vurmo said. “Crime prevention is not only a responsibility of the police but also of central and local institutions that should support it,” he added.
According to the study what is particularly worrying is that the murder rate jumped more than 40 per cent in 2010 and 2011 compared with the two preceding years.
International statistics references in the report show that the murder rate jumped from 2.9-2.7 murders for every 100,000 people in 2008 and 2009, to four murders per 100,000 people in 2011.
In 2011, with four murders per 100,000, Albania had the worst murder rate in the Balkan region.
Theft has also registered a high rate of growth from 2008 to 2011.
“Analyzed data show that theft rate in the last quarter of 2011 was five times higher than in the last quarter of 2008,” the study said.
According to the study the factors that have contributed to the rise in criminality, apart from the poor performance of law enforcement institutions, include the economic crisis and particularly the political crisis in Albania during the last three years.
“If an analytical curve of the political conflict in Albania was generated during this period, such a curve almost completely matches the growth in criminal offences registered by law enforcement institutions,” Vurmo said.
“The biggest failure in regard to this situation is of politics, which has not supported and advanced crime prevention policies,” he concluded.
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