Safe Living


How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
According to the 2018 OSAC report, Finland continues to be a safe and secure environment for business, tourism, and living, having one of the world’s most effective police forces. Finland remains among the safest countries in the world, with a very low crime rate. The overall crime rate decreased by 6.1% during the first nine months of 2017. Still, as evident from the 2018 OSAC report, there has been an increase in aggravated crimes, rapes and assaults. According to polls, Finnish citizens regard the police as one of the most reliable public institutions. Following the establishment of a First Program on Internal Security in 2004, government in 2012 adopted the Third Internal Security Program, with the aim of reducing citizen’s daily security concerns. The program’s overall implementation has been monitored by the Ministry of the Interior. Additionally, the government has adopted or is considering national strategies for combating organized crime, the informal economy, and terrorism. Involving a collaboration between municipalities, regions, organizations, business and public administration, preparations for a new national strategy outline were initiated in August 2016 and completed in April 2017. An implementation program for Finland’s Cyber Security Strategy for 2017 – 2020 has been adopted and measures have been taken to increase national and international cooperation between intelligence and police authorities.
“Turvallisempi huominen. Sisäisen turvallisuuden ohjelma.” 26/2012. Ministry of Interior, Helsinki;;;
“Finland 2018 Crime & Safety Report”,
Japan enjoys a very low crime rate, although it is unclear just how much the effectiveness of internal security policies contributes to this. Other social and economic factors are also at work. For major crimes such as homicide or hard-drug abuse in particular, Japan’s good reputation is well deserved. The number of recorded crimes reached a postwar low in the first half of 2018.

Terrorism also poses no major discernible threat today. Nevertheless, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, parliament passed an “anti-conspiracy bill” in 2017, considerably expanding police power. This has been strongly criticized for curbing civil liberties, as discussed elsewhere in this report. In this context, an inter-ministry anti-terrorism center was founded under the bureaucratic umbrella of the Cabinet Secretariat in mid-2018.

Another issue is the existence of organized gangs, the so-called yakuza. These groups have recently moved into fraud and white-collar crimes. However, according to National Police data, yakuza membership (including associates) declined to a postwar low in 2017, from around 90,000 in the early 1990s to 34,500 at the end of 2017.
Kyodo/Jiji, Number of crime syndicate members in Japan falls to record low in 2017, but crime by foreign nationals rises, The Japan Times, 12 April 2018,

Kyodo, Crime in Japan dips to lowest postwar level through first half of 2018, The Japan Times, 19 July 2018,
The Ministry of Interior, state police, security police, state fire and rescue Service, state border guard, and Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs are responsible for domestic security policy. They collaborate on some policy issues, notably on immigration policy.

In 2016, 45,639 crimes were registered, which was a 3.7% decrease from 2015. In 2017, the number fell further, reaching 44,250 or 229.1 crimes per 10,000 people. In 2017, 61% of the recorded crimes were classified as relatively mild and approximately one third were categorized as serious.

Despite international developments, the threat of terrorism is low. There have been no criminal offenses associated with terrorism. In late 2015, the security police started a criminal investigation into alleged participation in the military conflict in Syria. One conviction has followed, carrying a four-year prison sentence. In 2016, two criminal investigations for terrorism threats were launched, another for inciting terrorism and four for participation in foreign armed conflicts.

Opinion polls from 2016 indicate that public trust in the police continues to rise and more people feel safe (74% of respondents report feeling safe or rather safe).
1. Research center SKDS (2018), Attitude Toward the State Police, Available at (in Latvian):, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

2. Central Statistical Bureau, Database, Available at:, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

3. Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, Latvia 2018 - Statistics in brief, Available at:, Last assessed: 30.12.2018.

3. Latvian Security Police (2018) Counterterrorism, Available at:, Last assessed: 30.12.2018

4. Latvian State Police (2018) Infographic on Crime in Latvia (2017), Available at:, Last assessed: 30.12.2018.
Norway is traditionally a safe country. The country’s security is not seriously threatened by crime. For example, the number of homicides per capita is the third-lowest in the world, and incarceration rates are also small. Police presence is rarely significant, and incidents of police activism are rare. In general, police officers continue to be unarmed. However, police officers have been armed during periods of heightened security risk. Prison sentences are relatively mild, and Norway has relied instead on long-term crime-prevention policies. Theft and petty crimes are relatively infrequent, although there has been some concern over increasing levels of narcotics- and gang-related crimes. There is a perception that knife- and gun-related crimes are increasing in frequency and brutality. In recent years, various reforms have sought to enhance cooperation between various police and intelligence units, both internally and with respect to cross-border cooperation.

In the aftermath of the 22 July 2011 terrorist assaults on the government compound in Oslo and the summer camp of the Labor Party youth organization, the police service was severely criticized for not having put necessary precautions in place. This revealed shortcomings in police organization and logistics, including a low capacity for planning and implementation within the central police directorate. Notable improvements have since been made, including efforts to make better use of resources by requiring the police and military to coordinate their resources allocated for anti-terrorism measures and situations requiring special forces. Police reforms are ongoing.
Actual and perceived security risks in Slovenia are very low. Slovenia’s accession to the Schengen group in December 2007 has resulted in a substantial professionalization of the Slovenian police force and border control. A six-month police strike, which ended in June 2016, brought substantial increases in wages as a well as a commitment by the government to increase future spending on basic police equipment. The effects of that commitment were evident in the period under review, with the police receiving new equipment, such as radars and vehicles, to replace older models. While public trust in the police is slightly below the EU average, it is higher than in most other East-Central European countries and higher than public trust in political institutions.
European Commission (2018): Standard Eurobarometer 89. Brussels (
South Korea
Korea remains a very safe country with regard to the risk of violent crime. There have been no terror attacks or terrorist activities in Korea in recent years. Nevertheless, extensive media reports about violent crime, along with rumors spread on social media, have led to an increasing feeling of insecurity.
Levels of respect for and trust in the police are generally low. The lax enforcement of traffic laws remains a major problem. South Korea has the OECD’s third-highest ratio of road fatalities, with 8.4 deaths per 100,000 residents. The spread of financial scams (“phishing”) and cyber-crime whose perpetrators take advantage of South Korea’s excellent broadband infrastructure and lax online-security measures is a major concern that has not yet been effectively addressed.
The external threat posed by North Korea remains, although the Moon administration’s policies of engagement have been successful in calming the situation after the bellicose rhetoric that marked recent years.
WHO, Global Health Observatory Data Repository, ain.51310
Korean Statistical Information Service. National Crime Statistics. 2017.
The Overseas Security Advisory Coucil(OSAC) of the United States. South Korea 2017 Crime and Safety Report.
OECD. Road Accidents Statistics,
Switzerland has improved its internal security through its integration into the European Schengen/Dublin regime. However, the country’s participation remains domestically controversial, as right-wing populist actors have accused center-left politicians of cooperating in an inefficient European security network.

With the de-facto break-down of the Schengen and Dublin rules in 2015, Switzerland resorted to more systematic controls at its borders. Having already had a comparatively high asylum-seekers-to-population ratio before the refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, Switzerland was largely spared from the dramatic refugee influx observed in Germany, Denmark and Hungary. As of 31 October 2018, there were only 12,900 new asylum-seekers, compared to 40,000 in 2015 (during the refugee crisis) and 23,000 in 2013 (i.e., the year before the wave of asylum-seekers to Europe).

Internal security policy has developed as a collaborative policy field, in which various international and national governmental actors interact with private organizations. Given the country’s comparatively low crime rates, and the public confidence shown in the police and the justice system, internal security policy can be deemed a success.

On a general note, safe living conditions are strongly supported politically even if this entails substantial costs. For example, in 2016 three popular referenda were approved related to security: a decision on an additional tunnel across the Alps (Gotthard) increasing road safety at the cost of the environment, a decision on the competences of the intelligence service related to combating terrorism at the cost of individual privacy rights, and a decision on a long-term nuclear power phase out at the cost of the environment. Likewise in 2017, the public supported a Federal Decree on Food Security which many observers considered to be superfluous. There are, however, limitations to the quest for safety: on a decision to expel criminals of foreign origin (adopted in 2010), voters supported an alternative in 2016 that respects international law and human rights. Hence, safety is not desired at all costs. Nonetheless, safe living conditions are an important motivator of political behavior among citizens.

On the whole, Swiss citizens feel quite safe. At the end of 2017, a survey asking for the five most pressing problems found that issues related to safety were mentioned only moderately: asylum-seekers (19%), social security (18%), personal security (18%) and terrorism/extremism (13%). Regarding the future, 18% reported that internet security/cyber-spying will belong to the five most pressing problems. In contrast to these safety-concerns, unemployment (44%), pensions (44%), the large share of foreigners in the country (35%) and the health systems (26%) were named as the five most pressing problems.
GfS 2017: Sorgenbarometer 2017. Innenpolitischer Sorgendruck steigt
Probleme im Bereich soziale Sicherheit, Verkehr und Energie gewinnen an Wichtigkeit, Bern: GfS
Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
Internal security is primarily the responsibility of the states and there is correspondingly some variation in policies and outcomes across them. In most states crime rates are relatively low. Coordination between various policing, enforcement and intelligence-gathering authorities is generally satisfactory.

Responsibility for internal security at the national level rests with the Australian federal police and the Australian security intelligence organization; the latter has no powers of arrest and relies on the police for support. Both rely on the criminal law for prosecutions, as well as on the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005. International organized crime that is not terrorism-related is investigated by the Australian crime commission.

In 2015, the coalition government introduced several measures aimed at countering terrorism and improving national security more generally. Most significant was the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015, allowing increased surveillance of electronic communications and imposing requirements on internet service providers to retain data for minimum periods. The act was opposed by groups concerned that it unduly infringes on civil liberties, as well as by telecommunications providers, who argued it would impose substantial costs on them. In 2016, the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) was passed, which grants the government explicit powers to revoke Australian citizenship of dual citizens convicted of engaging in terrorist-related activities.

Violent crime has decreased in Australia, but the situation has improved more for men than for women. Most female murder victims die at the hands of their male partners and family violence remains a big issue in Australian society.

In July 2017, the prime minister announced that the government would establish a home affairs portfolio that will bring together Australia’s immigration, border protection, law enforcement and domestic security agencies in a single portfolio. The new portfolio will be more similar to the UK model than the U.S. model – a federation of border and security agencies under which the various agencies retain statutory independence.

Caitlin Fitzsimmons: Australia is safer than it used to be but family violence persists. Sydney Morning Herald. 21 July 2018. Available at
Internal security is comparatively well protected in Austria. The crime rate is volatile, slightly rising in some areas such as criminal assaults, while falling in others such as break-ins and car thefts. Especially internet crime is an increasingly significant problem, and the Austrian police forces are seeking to counteract it through the creation of special task forces. The incidence of economic fraud is also rising due to the growing share of transactions over the internet.

Police-force budgets and personnel counts have risen over time, an indicator that the police are viewed as the appropriate instrument to provide internal security.

The open borders guaranteed by the European Union and the Schengen agreement have made it easier for organized crime to cross borders, leading some to criticize Austria’s EU membership status. And although some parties (e.g., the FPÖ) do so for political purposes, the data shows that, despite recent increases concerning burglaries and car theft, there is no significant increase in crime.

Unfortunately, these facts are not depicted in the way the situation is presented in the Austrian tabloid press, which sometimes suggests (also for political reasons) that Austria has become a very insecure country. Therefore, analysts distinguish between “objective” security, which is – based on data – still rather high in Austria and “subjective” security – how internal security is perceived by society. The existing gap between the two aspects is an invitation for political campaigns arguing for ever more “law and order” policies, irrespective of the objective situation.

All indicators define Austria as a rather secure country. Despite the tendency to define certain criminal events as a sign of deterioration, the criminal statistics clearly indicate that the overall security Austrians enjoy is stable and comparatively high.
Stats from the interior ministry:
Belgium has always been a generally safe country and the situation has continued to improve over the last five years (see below). Yet, some violence does occur and the country’s crime rate is slightly above several neighboring countries. In addition, Belgium has become infamous for having attracted a number of Islamist terror activists, who are producing a new type of threat that the country has found difficult to manage. This is, however, a general issue in Europe and among OECD countries. It is not specific to Belgium.

With regard to low-level criminality, self-reported rates of victimization are slightly above the OECD average, in part due to an above-average incidence of bullying that has not received sufficient policy attention. Underfunded and overcrowded prisons are another source of the problem, though successive recent governments have invested in new prison facilities. The court system remains slow (due to a huge backlog) and is often perceived as lenient. This helps maintain a feeling of impunity for misdemeanor offenders. Yet, the country’s relative social stability, neo-corporatist arrangements and limited levels of income inequality have largely insulated it from mass demonstrations or riots of the kind sometimes observed in France or other EU member states.

A positive collateral effect of the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels has been that armed patrols have been deployed systematically in some of Belgium’s main cities (e.g., Brussels and Antwerp). Even if establishing a definite causal relationship remains difficult, it is noteworthy that criminality in those cities has dropped by 30% since 2016 . More generally, Belgium has witnessed a decrease in the number of reported offenses over the last five years.
OECD 2015. Better life initiative. How is life in Belgium? October 2015.
Canada’s internal security policy has been quite effective in protecting citizens against security risks. Canada has experienced no terror attacks mounted from outside the country, which suggests that the Canadian intelligence services are doing excellent work. Two separate attacks by native Canadians in 2014, resulting in the deaths of two soldiers, prompted the previous government to introduce a number of bills to bolster security and the power of agencies (notably Bill C-44 and Bill C-51). These laws increased the powers of Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, to share information and operate internationally, criminalized the promotion of terrorism, and provided the federal police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with new preventative arrest powers. The current government has established an all-party national security oversight committee with the power to review the intelligence and security operations of any government agency.

Crime rates in Canada are low from an international perspective and continue to fall. Canadians in general have a high degree of confidence and trust in the police. However, this is not true to the same extent within the Indigenous community. A report released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2014 stated that between 1980 and 2013, 1,181 indigenous women were reported murdered or missing. The U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Canada previously expressed concerns about violence against indigenous women and girls and Canada’s perceived failure to address the problem. The government has launched the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to gather evidence and propose recommendations on the issue. The inquiry has faced substantial criticism over the past year, with several key members stepping down and victims’ families calling for a complete restructuring of the program.
UN Human Rights Council (2013). Universal Periodic Review: Canada. Report available at

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2014). Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview. Report available at
In Croatia, crime represents no significant threat to public safety and security. The police are generally effective in maintaining public order and combating crime. The police and prosecutor’s office collaborate effectively with international organizations and countries in the southeast European region, the European Union and internationally. Intelligence services cooperate with their counterparts within NATO and the European Union, and act within an integrated security system. Croatia does not face significant terrorist threats. Organized crime affects the country mostly through transnational and regional crime networks involved in drugs and human and arms trafficking.
The security forces and police are responsible for internal security (falling under the Ministry of Justice). Cooperation between the police and defense intelligence services was increased after 9/11. International cooperation has also increased among Western allies.

Denmark is not a violent society. The homicide rate is low and Danes normally trust the police. However, burglaries are not uncommon and crimes related to drug use, especially in the bigger cities, have increased. Recently incidences of gang-crime have increased, including shooting incidences. Terrorist events at home and abroad have increased tensions.

Denmark has opted out of the justice and home affairs cooperation within the European Union (since 1993), a position that was reaffirmed by referendum in 2015. Subsequent negotiations led to an agreement with Europol, which allows Denmark to take part in police cooperation. It remains to be seen how satisfactory the agreement will be, although there is no majority support for re-opening the issue.

Following the great influx of refugees and asylum-seekers in 2015 the government reintroduced border control. Opinion polls in September 2015 showed that about 60% of the Danes supported this step. In an opinion poll in January 2015, 63% of the Danes supported Denmark joining a common EU agreement on the distribution of refugees. The question of continuing national border controls continues to be discussed.

In an opinion poll in November 2015, 27% answered very likely and 54% answered likely on the possibility that a terror attack will occur in the next few years. The same poll showed that an overwhelming majority thought that such attach was likely to be committed by a fundamentalist Islamic group.
Murder plot against Danish cartoonist, E3923645/murder-plot-against-danish-cartoonist/ (accessed 18 April 2013)

DIIS, “Opinion Polls,” (accessed 22 October 2016).

Eurobarometer, Spring 2015. (Accessed 21 October 2017).

“Iran attempted political assassination in Denmark:PET,” (accessed 7 November 2018).
Public safety has steadily increased and currently only 3% of the population regards crime as a major societal problem. The overall crime rate declined by 7% in 2017 and by 47% over the preceding decade.

Multiple factors have contributed to greater public safety. Alcohol consumption – a major cause of severe traffic accidents and violent behavior – has declined as a result of stricter alcohol policy and increased public awareness of healthy living. Increased funding for the police and the border guard have been another positive change, which have enabled better human and technological resourcing, and more efficient policing. Placing greater emphasis on secure borders is particularly important in combating human and drug trafficking, and terrorist threats. While alcohol consumption has decreased, drug trafficking and use are an increasing challenge. Cooperation between tax authorities, border authorities, the police and preventive bodies (e.g., National Institute of Health Development) will be key to successfully tackling of this challenge.

The border guard and police force enjoy high levels of public trust, which helps to address safety problems more efficiently as envisaged in the Internal Security Development Plan 2015 – 2020.
Estonia Drug Report 2017. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions. (accessed 24.10.2018)
Crime in Estonia 2017. (in Estonian). Ministry of Justice, 2017. (accessed 24.10.2018)
Iceland has always been a secure place to live, with relatively few assaults, burglaries, or other crimes. However, some changes have occurred since the 2008 economic collapse. The 2007 – 2009 government was undermined by a series of protests, which – though largely peaceful – did lead to clashes between protesters and riot police in early 2009. While these events led only to minor injuries and some 20 arrests, they were the first serious riots since March 1949’s protests against a parliamentary decision to bring Iceland into NATO. Similar riots have not occurred since then. The main policing priority has been Iceland’s internal security. The police force has long suffered from a manpower shortage, exacerbated by low pay.

The incidence of drug-smuggling has been on the rise for several years. This trend reflects a related increase in the prevalence of violent attacks by individuals under the influence of alcohol or other drugs in Reykjavík, especially on weekends. Organized foreign gangs are considered responsible for the repeated waves of burglaries.

During 2017, four murders were committed in Iceland. Consequently, the country had a rate of 1.2 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017 – the same rate as in Sweden, lower than in Finland (1.6), but higher than in Denmark (1.0) and Norway (0.6).
Luxembourg City is ranked 21 out of 231 cities worldwide in the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, despite being considered the safest destination for international assignments. Efforts have been made to enhance public security. As part of an ongoing police reform program, 51 police stations will be merged into larger and more efficient units. One of the priorities is combating gang-related crime, in particular, burglaries.

Nevertheless, issues with crime exist in the central station area of the capital and in certain areas of the city of Esch-Alzette. Furthermore, major raids on criminal gangs and drug dealers were conducted. Despite this, the number of burglaries has recently fallen and the number of xenophobic acts of violence is rather low. Overall, it appears that the police force is not able to recruit enough staff to police efficiently.
“Western European Cities Top Quality of Living Ranking.” Accessed 6 Nov. 2018.
“Ruf nach mehr Sicherheit.” Letzebuerger Journal. 1 June 2018. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
“20 Prozent weniger Einbrüche.” Luxemburger Wort, 6 April 2017. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s internal security is the responsibility of the police. Internal security threats are also addressed through a Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) which involves staff seconded from the NZ Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Defense Force, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the New Zealand Customs Service and Maritime New Zealand. CTAG provides assessments on terrorist or criminal threats intended to create physical harm to New Zealand citizens or affect New Zealand interests at home or overseas, based on all information sources within the New Zealand government. The NZSIS and the GCSB provide advisory services. In August 2016, the New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill 2016 was introduced. The bill has reformed legislation and enhanced transparency of New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies. Expenditures for public order and safety are relatively high and growing. Crime is a salient issue for New Zealanders. Recent crime statistics show a considerable decline in criminal offenses – partly as a result of an aging society in which the age groups that statistically commit more crimes are shrinking, and partly as a consequence of increased expenditures for police, criminal justice and prison services. However, there was a minor increase in the victimization rate for the last couple of years due to an increase in burglaries. Due to internal opposition from NZ First, the new government abandoned efforts to appeal the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010 (the so-called “three strikes law”).
Portugal is signatory to and participant in all relevant Europe-wide programs regarding public security. In addition, Portugal has created a General Secretariat for the Internal Security System, which reports to the prime minister via the minister for internal administration.

Overall, reported crime increased 3.3% in 2017 relative to 2016, although violent crime declined by 8.7% over this period.

Portugal remains a relatively safe country in international terms. Furthermore, Portugal has not experienced a terrorist attack of the kind witnessed in Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Spain or Turkey. Whether this is due to effective intelligence gathering and policing or the priorities and preferences of potential terrorists is unclear.

In the previous report, we noted the failure of civil-protection services during the 2017 forest fires, which resulted in over 100 deaths and over 500,000 hectares of burned land. While Portugal again faced substantial forest fires in 2018, notably in the Algarve, their impact was considerably more limited, with no reported deaths and with the total area burned by the end of August being the third lowest of the previous 10 years. These improvements are due to a more active policy framework with regard to forest fire prevention, with the government embarking on a number of forest fire prevention initiatives (e.g., strengthening the requirement for landowners to clear shrubbery that could otherwise fuel fires), and more favorable weather conditions than in 2017.

In the previous report, we also noted that the robbery and subsequent recovery of a massive amount of arms and ammunition, including grenades, from the military arsenal at Tancos. Disclosures during 2018 showed that the military was involved in a cover-up regarding this robbery and the recovery of the weapons. The development of this affair in 2018 has significantly undermined the military’s credibility.
Sistema de Segurança Interna,“Relatório Anual de Segurança Interna 2017,” available online at:

Pordata (2018), “Incêndios rurais e área ardida – Continente,” available online at:êndios+rurais+e+área+ardida+–+Continente-1192

Público (2018), “Área ardida em 2018 regista terceiro valor mais baixo dos últimos dez anos,” available online at:
Objectively speaking, citizens of the United Kingdom have enjoyed improved security over the last 15 years as the crime rate has dropped significantly and consistently (although it continues to be relatively high in absolute terms when compared to other OECD countries). This is not reflected, however, in increased subjective perception of security, since British citizens (probably influenced by media reporting) perceive crime to be on the rise. The issue thus remains in the public spotlight, and cuts in the budgets of the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice – in line with overall budget cuts to fight the deficit – have therefore been politically contentious. The most recent figures do, nevertheless, suggest a further fall in crime, although questions have been raised about whether “new” crimes like cybercrime are being adequately recorded. Moreover, even in higher crime areas, there are few signs that citizens consider the environment to be unsafe. However, there has been some concern about the impact of the substantial reduction in police numbers on the ability of the police to respond. Doubts have also surfaced about the effectiveness of elected Police and Crime Commissioners.

The coalition government abolished some of the harsh counter-terrorism laws introduced by earlier Labour governments in an attempt to correct the balance in favor of civil rights. A new National Crime Agency started work in the autumn of 2013 as a central body for crime fighting. Certain high-profile revelations of police malpractice, including the recently exposed falsification of records in the Hillsborough football disaster of 1989, have led to disquiet about police behavior, but have not conspicuously undermined confidence. There is some concern about inadequate responses to cybercrime, with significant increases reported in crime statistics.

The 2015 Conservative government – and its Home Secretary Theresa May –reformed the police disciplinary and complaint system to improve trust between citizens and the police. Furthermore, it has made the Police Federation subject to the Freedom of Information Act to improve transparency in the police force.

There is continuing concern about terrorist threats, accentuated by the renewed difficulties in the Middle East and the evidence of the involvement of UK-born jihadis and, as in many other EU member states, sporadic terrorist attacks. There is concern about the threat posed by returning fighters from the Middle East, which has led to an increase in resources for the security services. There are occasional briefings from these services about “plots disrupted.”
Internal security policy is quite effective. While organized crime is not apparent to the average citizen, there are some disturbing trends: selective acts of terrorism (or acts classified as such) based on ethnic or political grounds, and a slightly rising incidence of drug-trafficking (and related crimes). Homicide rates in Chile are among Latin America’s lowest. Common crime rates have not shown any significant changes since 2012. Still, public perceptions of criminality tend to overestimate the statistical reality. According to a poll released in November 2017 by the Chilean survey institute Centro de Estudios Públicos, insecurity remains the overriding public concern (47%), ahead of pensions (38%) and health care (36%), despite the fact that crime rates, especially regarding serious crime, have been relatively stable during the last few years.

Private security services are widespread in the wealthier urban areas, especially in Santiago. Chile has an extremely high share of prisoners among the younger population in particular. Prevention measures are not well developed. The last two governments each launched anti-crime programs focusing more on detection and repression than on prevention. These had very mixed results. Crime-control programs such as the Plan Cuadrante and the marked increase in the numbers of police officers have significantly reduced crime rates. Penal-code reforms and their implementation over the last eight years have also significantly raised the efficiency of crime detection and criminal prosecution. In the government’s 2017 state budget, security is one of the top three budgetary priorities (along with education and health).

In July 2018, President Piñera received the final report of the working group on security (Mesa de Trabajo por la Seguridad). The working group consisted of government ministers, undersecretaries, senators, deputies, mayors and civil society representatives. Over 90 days, the working group debated public safety issues. The final report included 150 recommendations across five topic areas, namely: modernizing the police, fostering the Intelligent System of the State, tightening controls on the circulation of firearms, stressing the key role of municipalities in the realm of public security and improving the coordination between actors in the System of Criminal Prosecution. The represents a further step on the way to a new National Public Security Agreement, which President Piñera seeks to achieve. Some of these recommendations were included in the draft laws that the executive presented to the Congress in November 2018.

UNODC report 2013:

On insecurity as the chief public concern:

Final Report on Public Security:

Draft law Public Securita:
Cyprus is considered a safe environment. A World Health Organization survey found it the world’s safest for young people. Being an island state, it has developed adequate monitoring of the coast and of entry points. Its only relatively vulnerable points are the line dividing the government-controlled areas and the Turkish-occupied north, as well as the sections of the British bases that abut the north. Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area. Despite incidents of serious crime, including assaults and homicides, Cyprus remains safer than other EU countries. Burglaries and robberies are by far the most common crimes, while digital crime is gradually surfacing. Law enforcement is largely deficient in cases of minor wrongdoing (e.g., driving offenses and property damage from graffiti). Illegal drug activity is comparatively minimal overall, but an increase in illegal drugs confiscated at entry points has been noted.
1. Cyprus the safest in the World for Young People, Cyprus Mail, 22 August 2017,
Crime figures in Czechia are unremarkable. The police have been registering a drop in crime for the fourth consecutive year. In 2017, compared to the previous year, crime was down by 7.3%. However, there are increasing regional differences as well as tension in regions with a concentration of marginalized groups. Czech citizens feel secure and are largely satisfied with the performance of the police. Trust in the police and the army is high. In June 2018, about two-thirds of all citizens trusted the army and the police. In the case of the police, the level of trust has been the highest since the mid-1990s. In the period under study, three Czech soldiers fell in the course of duty during a mission in Afghanistan. Thousands of Czech citizens took part in the military funeral, recognizing the role of the Czech Army in global anti-terrorism efforts.
Although the police maintain a reputation for being efficient (sometimes too efficient, as the institution is granted significant powers and discretion vis-à-vis the citizenry), concerns over internal security are high. Attention has focused on repeated outbreaks of urban violence in the suburbs or other areas. Following a rising level of petty crime and several terrorist attacks on French territory and abroad, citizens have been more and more vocal about the need to be better protected by enforcing “law and order” measures. There is a clear relationship between the economic and social crisis and this increasing sense of insecurity. This situation has also had a decisive impact on protest votes in favor of the extreme-right party, the National Front.

The terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015 have elevated the topic of security to the top of the political agenda, triggering real concerns as well as political polemics driven by the populist and extreme right. The government has reacted to this with new security measures, issuing a temporary state of emergency, and giving more powers to the executive and police to prevent terrorist acts. Following harsh criticisms about the extension of the emergency legislation to November 2017, the Macron administration terminated the emergency legislation in November 2017. Though this came at the price of bringing the controversial rules into the flow of “normal” law with the introduction of an anti-terrorism law in October 2017. The anti-terrorism law signed in October 2017 turned most of the preventive and security measures, which had been applied during the state of emergency, into regular laws. This has re-enforced the government’s capacity to prevent and fight terrorism if circumstances require it, although the weakening of judicial control has been criticized. It has, however, the advantage of limiting the use of these controversial measures to the fight against terrorism, while the state of emergency might be applied to a much wider and imprecise set of circumstances.
In general, residents of Germany are well protected against security risks such as crime or terrorism. Crime rates fluctuate but have not systematically risen over recent years. There was an increase in the recorded total number of crimes from 2013 (5.96 million) to 2016 (6.37 million). But 2017 has seen a decrease to 5.76 million cases which is the lowest number since the early 1990s.

The influx of nearly 900,000 refugees between 2015 and 2018 fostered a heated discussion about a potential rise in crime. However, a special survey of the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) made clear that refugees and asylum-seekers do not display any increased propensity toward criminality compared to German citizens. On the contrary, crime rates of immigrants declined by about 18% compared to 2015. Offenses involving immigrants mostly take place between different groups of immigrants (resulting from ethnic or religious tensions), and often in integration centers and other institutions for incoming migrants.

Notwithstanding, during the 2015 New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne and other German cities, hundreds of sexual assaults were reported. Victims and police officers reported that the perpetrators had been men mostly of Arab or North African descent. The attacks triggered a heated debate that often was accompanied by strong prejudices against migrants and foreigners. However, apart from a few spectacular exceptions, the number of suspected immigrants was 167,268 in 2017, a slight decrease compared to 2016.

In addition, several terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists over the course of 2016 to 2018 as well as planned attacks prevented by the police clearly indicate an increase in the risk of terrorist attacks. The most important of these attacks seems to be the attack on 19 December 2016 in which Anis Amri killed 11 people and injured 55 by driving a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin. Islamist extremists are growing in number and attracting support principally among younger German Muslims, but also among some refugees.

Concerning politically motivated offenses and extremist activities (by right-wing, left-wing, and foreign groups and organizations), the number has decreased by about 5% overall. Politically motivated violence sunk to 39,505 incidents. Violent attacks by left-wing groups increased in 2017 to nearly 2,000 incidents, a rise of 15% compared to 2016. This was because of the G-20 meeting in Germany, which was accompanied by violent protests and riots.

After a dramatic increase in the number of xenophobic attacks on accommodations for asylum-seekers at the end of 2015 (1,031 attacks), according to the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt), the number of incidents declined between 2016 and 2018.
BKA (Bundeskriminalamt) (2018a): Kriminalität im Kontext der Zuwanderung: Bundeslagebild 2017, Berlin
BKA (Bundeskriminalamt) (2018b): Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik 2017
Overall, Irish crime rates are relatively low by international standards. However, property crime rates have risen in the last few years and over the past decade there has been an increase in “gangland” crime, including murders involving firearms. The low detection and conviction rates for these crimes are disturbing.

The main police force remains unarmed and, despite a recent fatal shooting of an on-duty police officer, there is no widespread clamor to arm the force. It enjoys a good relationship with the majority of the population, although tensions exist in certain areas and with certain social groups.
Cross-border policing cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains good, although the existence of a long land border is an inherent obstacle to effective law enforcement. It is widely acknowledged that paramilitary crime and racketeering are unacceptably high in the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border areas.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) manages the internal-security field in conjunction with the armed forces and other government agencies such as “Rachel” (emergency) and “Malal” (terrorism prevention). Following an alteration in its title (from the Ministry of the Police), the MPS has broadened its scope, and is now in charge of crime prevention, the prison system, gun control, prevention of terrorist acts and fire-prevention policies. Reforms have sought to integrate the country’s various agencies dealing with security issues, and in 2013 the MPS reported some accomplishments. For example, the Firearm Licensing Department (2011), the Israel Fire and Rescue Services (2011) and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority have all been successfully integrated into this ministry, improving coordination capabilities. In 2016, the government accepted the MPS suggestion to establish a national program to prevent cybercrime and internet violence against children. As of 2018, the Israel National Cyber Directorate is responsible for cybercrime security. However, the directorate has been criticized for being inefficient and uninterested in cyber-threats that are not related to terrorism (for more information, see G13.3 section).

Security networks in Israel connect the spheres of the military and private security, showing how closely connected and virtually inseparable they are.

Notwithstanding occasional acts of terrorism, Israelis still report that they feel generally secure. According to the most recent crime-victimization survey, 70% of people claim that they feel safe walking alone at night. Israel’s homicide rate (which is considered a better measure of safety in a country) is 1.7 per 100,000 inhabitants – about half of the OECD average.

Since Israel’s internal-security budget is divided between different agencies, and cannot be separated from the defense budget managed by the Ministry of Defense, it is hard to estimate the country’s overall internal-security expenditure. Although the Ministry of Public Security’s budget has increased in recent years, this is at least partly due to the expansion of the ministry’s responsibilities, and not due to increased investment or policy implementation.
“A View on MPS 2016,”

Israel’s Crime Victimization Survey 2015, CBS,

Kubovich, Y., “98% of sexual harassment victims in Israel don’t complain to police according to Gov’t poll,” 5.5.2015, Haaretz:

“National violence index 2014,” the Ministry of Public Security publication February 2014 (Hebrew).

“Safety: Better life index Israel,” OECD.

Ziv, Amitai, “Instead of cyber protection we got a 200 million NIS “puppet of the Shabak,”” The Marker, 29.08.2018 (Hebrew):

Grassini, E., Between security and military identities: The case of Israeli security experts, Security Dialogue, 49(2018)1-2, 83-95:
Lithuania’s internal security has improved in recent years, in part thanks to Lithuania’s accession to the European Union in 2004 and to the Schengen zone in 2007. These relationships improved police cooperation with the country’s EU peers and allowed the public security infrastructure, information systems and staff skills to be upgraded. Crime rates fell during the 2005 – 2007 period, but this trend was reversed beginning in 2008, coinciding with the onset of the economic crisis. A total of 84,715 crimes were registered in 2013, which constitutes a 5.6% decrease in the crime rate in 2005. However, the year’s crime rate per 100,000 people (2,866) was the highest in the 2005 – 2013 period due to the country’s decreasing total population. The share of Lithuanians who reported crime, violence and vandalism in their community declined from 5.0% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2016. The country continues to have a high number of intentional homicides by EU standards, but this rate went down from 6.03 homicides per hundred thousand inhabitants in 2012 to 4.92 in 2016.

In the 2011 Eurobarometer survey, 58% of respondents in Lithuania either disagreed or totally disagreed with the statement that their country was doing enough to fight organized crime, compared to an EU-27 average of 42%. However, in recent years public trust in the police has increased. In November 2016, a record high 71% of respondents in Lithuania expressed confidence in the police, according to a Baltic survey. A similar level of trust in police (66%) was recorded in December 2018, while 60% indicated that they trusted the country’s military forces, according to a Vilmorus survey. In its 2018 report, the World Economic Forum ranked Lithuania 24 out of 140 countries for the costs to business of organized crime.

State funding for internal-security purposes remains limited; though it gradually increased between 2004 and 2008, government expenditure for public-safety purposes dropped from 2.4% of GDP in 2008 to 2.1% in 2011. Observers say that motivation, competence and stability within the police force (and other internal-security organizations) are among the most pressing challenges to improving public safety. According to the 2011 Eurobarometer report, 42% of Lithuanians felt corruption to be an issue very important to citizens’ security, while just 5% felt the same about terrorism threats, and 2% for civil wars/wars. The annual report of the Lithuanian Security Department has recently highlighted threats linked to the activities of external intelligence services from neighboring non-NATO countries. The country has reconsidered its internal-security policies due to increasing threats associated with Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. A new long-term Public Security Development Program for 2015 – 2025, which aims at increasing public safety in the country, was adopted by the parliament in May 2015. In addition, in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and increase in its Baltic Sea Region military exercises, Lithuania re-introduced compulsory military conscriptions in 2015. According to the 2018 budget, for the first time spending on defense should reach 2% of GDP. The 2019 budget also included measures to increase funding for internal security institutions.
The 2011 Eurobarometer reports is available at archives/ebs/ebs_371_fact_lt_en.pdf.
Crime figures in Poland have fallen and have been relatively low for some time. However, trust in the police and the secret services has suffered under the PiS government. The effectiveness of the new Anti-Terror Law, introduced in June 2016, has been a subject of debate. The Constitutional Court and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe have criticized the extended options for telephone and internet surveillance without a court order. Another critique is the weak oversight of secret services. The parliamentary committee for control was reduced from nine to seven members and the chair does not alternate any longer between government and opposition. Joachim Brudziński, a close ally of party leader Kaczyński and a longtime, high-ranking PiS member who has served as minister of the interior since January 2018, now has the task of reorganizing the police services.
Although government spending on public order and safety is among the highest in the EU and the actual levels of crimes against rank-and-file citizens is low, internal security has been one of the major political issues in Slovakia for some time. While the homicide rate (the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants) stands at 0.8 and is much lower than the OECD average of 3.6, only 60% of people say that they feel safe walking alone at night, which is less than the OECD average of 69%. The subjective feeling of security in private or public space or has decreased due to several factors. First, from the beginning of the EU refugee crisis, almost all politicians, headed by Prime Minister Fico, fueled fears by painting negative consequences of the migration crisis. Second, since the murder of the investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, trust in the police and security forces has dramatically dropped. Third, a brutal attack in central Bratislava in May 2018 on Filipino expat Henry Acorda, who later died as a result of his injuries, sparked debates about no-go zones and the safety of people, particularly foreigners, in the capital and became a topic in the campaign for the municipal elections in November 2018.
OECD, Better Life Index (

N.N. (2018): What institutions do Slovaks trust the most? in Slovak Spectator, July 23 (
Compared with other OECD countries, Spain performs quite satisfactorily in protecting citizens against security risks and public confidence in the police force is high. The official data shows that violent crimes rate is one of the lowest in the world, although the figures are somewhat higher for assaults or muggings. As the terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and Barcelona in 2017 showed, the government of Spain and its citizens are a principal target of jihadist extremism.

Although the share of police officers per capita is among the highest in the world, and the intelligence and police communities have demonstrated their capabilities in terms of fighting terrorism, poor coordination mechanisms among the police forces at the local, regional and national level, as well as politicized intergovernmental relations, reduce the efficiency of the system. During the Catalan conflict, questions of loyalty and trust in the Catalan regional police force were raised. However, after the application of article 155, the regional police force urged its members to behave in a neutral manner, and to avoid taking sides in the conflict. The law on public safety (Organic Law 4/2015) approved in 2015 continues to be controversial, since the first trials based on this legal framework started in 2017. In the eyes of its critics, the new regulation has much more to do with trying to repress political protest than with increasing the protection of citizens.
Kölling(2018), Spain, in Leuprecht, (ed.), Public Security in Federal Polities, University of Toronto Press.

OECD(2018), Better Life Index,
In Hungary, regular crime is largely within normal limits. Budapest is a rather safe capital city and the crime incident rate in the country remains relatively low. According to the Hungarian Statistical Office, the number of committed crimes fell significantly from 290,779 in 2016 to 226,452 in 2017 (Hungarian Statistical Office 2019) and is now at the level observed in 1989. However, public trust in the police has remained low, and the government’s attempts to prevent atrocities from being perpetrated against Roma, Jews and homosexuals, as well as to protect opposition demonstrators, have remained rather half-hearted
With the exception of some regions of southern Italy where mafia-type organized crime can have a serious impact on the security of certain sectors of the population (for instance entrepreneurs and shop owners) internal security is sufficiently guaranteed. Homicide levels have generally declined and are among the lowest in Europe. Theft and robbery rates have significantly increased probably as a consequence of economic instability and rising unemployment. The public confidence in the security forces is generally fairly high. The segmentation of security forces (Carabinieri, Polizia di Stato, Guardia di Finanza, Polizia Municipale) might result in some inefficiencies and accountability issues although there was a small reform incorporating the Corpo Forestale di Stato (rangers) into the Carabinieri. The security forces are not always able to efficiently maintain law and order, and security in major suburban areas. Italian security agencies have to date been fairly successful in preventing terrorist attacks.
The new government has exploited feelings of insecurity, which exist among some groups of the population, and has introduced measures to broaden the legitimacy of armed self-defense, which might negatively impact safe living. The media report that the number of cases of xenophobic, racist and hate crimes are increasing as a consequence of the coalition government party, the Northern League, and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini’s incitements to fight immigration.
Malta is generally considered a safe place to live. Crime rates have remained largely stable with the crime rate experiencing a slight drop during 2017, though fraud cases have increased drastically. Conflicts between criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking and money laundering also occur from time to time. Malta has one of the lowest murder rates in the world. However, the car bombing of a well-known Maltese journalist during the period under review garnered intense international attention.

There are few external security threats to the state, making it difficult to assess local readiness or the state’s ability to protect citizens if such threats were to materialize. The U.S. State Department highlights the fact that like all other European countries, Malta is vulnerable to transnational terrorist groups. However, in its 2018 report on crime and safety in Malta, the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) assessed the country as being a low threat location. This is particularly significant when one considers Malta’s geographic location and open borders with other Schengen-area members. Numbeo ranked Malta 25th worldwide on its Safety Index based on data compiled in mid-2018.

Malta is affiliated with Interpol, and is also party to several cross-border security cooperation efforts, particularly those coordinated by the European Union. Frontex operations in the Mediterranean area are also of pivotal importance to the island. Operation Themis was launched early in 2018, and unlike its predecessor (Operation Triton) does not stipulate that individuals rescued at sea should automatically be taken to Italy, leading to significant tension between Italy and Malta. As Malta ensures the security of an external frontier of the European Union, it has received substantial assistance through the External Borders Fund. Through this fund, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) continue to obtain important resources for the enhancement of the existing border-control system, which is primarily directed toward policing the island country’s maritime borders from irregular migration and drug smuggling. Moreover, an additional €93 million in EU funding has been earmarked for Malta for the 2014 – 2020 programming period through the Internal Security Fund and the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund. A total of €9.2 million in EU funds have been allocated for the modernization of the Maltese police forces and for border-security projects.

Malta’s Secret Service is small, and depends heavily on intelligence from foreign intelligence services. Moreover, confidence in the Maltese police force is generally low, and four commissioners have resigned over a five-year period. A 2016 report found that the police force lacks direction. A policy revision that no longer requires police officers to have clean conduct for the purposes of rehiring and promotion was not received well. A total of 24 murders have remained unsolved since 2008. Pressure is growing for the resignation of the current police commissioner. Institutional capacity to deal with organized crime has not kept pace with the rapid change in Malta’s economic and social structures. There has been some discussion of setting up an independent anti-organized-crime commission tasked with investigating corruption and organized crime, based on models used internationally. A 2018 assessment by the U.S. State Department found that for the seventh consecutive year, Malta had failed to meet minimum standards in the fight against human trafficking.
Times of Malta 30/04/2018 ‘Massive increase’ in fraud reports in 2017, despite slight drop in crime rate
The Malta Independent 16/10/2017 Updated: Daphne Caruana Galizia killed as vehicle blows up in Bidnija; bomb not in cabin - expert
The Malta Independent 11/06/2018 ‘Migrants’ search and rescue took place outside operational waters’ - Frontex
On Parade Magazine October 2014, Armed Forces of Malta p.17
The Malta Independent 22/05/2017 €9.2 million in EU funds for police modernisation, border security projects
Malta Today 21/05/2018 Trust in the Police needs to be rebuilt
The Malta Independent 07/08/2016 Police force ‘lacks direction’, full skills-audit recommended
The Malta Independent 25/01/2018 TMID Editorial: Faith in the force - Police officers and criminal histories
Lovin Malta 10/08/2018 There Have Been 24 Unsolved Murders In Malta Since 2008
Times of Malta 23/10/2017 Have your say: Do you have confidence in the police?
Times of Malta 06/09/2018 Malta again fails to take action to fight human trafficking - US State Department
Times of Malta 21/10/18 setting up of anti organised crime commission being raised
Romania’s homicide and violent crime rates have remained relatively low. The dominant challenges to Romanian public safety are transnational and organized crime, as seen in various arrests related to smuggling and human trafficking. Romania continues to be a willing participant in international police cooperation with European and regional partners.
The crime rate in Sweden is slightly higher than it is in comparable countries. Assessing the effectiveness of the internal security police is a complex undertaking. For a long time, Sweden has experienced substantial problems with organized crime and conflicts among gangs. Despite increased efforts to address this problem during the period of review, organized and/or gang-related crime shows no sign of waning, rather the opposite. Many media accounts of homicides and assaults relate these incidents to rivalry among competing organizations.

In the 2018 election campaign, law and order-related issues played a major role. It seems clear that many people living in cities now feel increasingly unsafe. This means, for instance, that they will be less inclined to be outdoors after dark and less assured of the police’s capacity to guarantee safety and solve crimes. The response time, particularly outside metropolitan areas, is today longer than what many people find acceptable.

In terms of solving and preventing crime, there has been extensive debate about police effectiveness. Studies suggest that the police do not use their resources effectively and that only 2% of their working time is spent on actual crime prevention or resolution. These problems appear to have been exacerbated during the last couple of years: Sweden is falling in international rankings on the number of homicides, the percentage of crimes which have been resolved and brought to trial is decreasing, and media reports argue that gang-related violence in distressed suburbs and neighborhoods is rapidly increasing.

In 2015, regional police districts and core national staff were merged into one police authority. A recent evaluation by the Swedish Agency for Public Management (Statskontoret 2018:18) found that the organizational reform has not improved performance and that the organization remains fragmented.

The red-green coalition of parties and the “Alliance” parties agree that recruiting more police officers is an important component of the response to this situation. There is also a growing understanding that some percentage of rising crime levels in metropolitan areas reflect a failure of integration programs.

An additional problem is related to the emphasis on performance measurement and management which, critics argue, has led the police to focus on high performance scores rather than crime prevention. Preemptive police work which may observers argued is the best way to prevent crime does not show up in performance measures. Also, given the performance targets some aspects of police work such as checking automobile drivers’ sobriety is conducted with almost more attention to getting the numbers in than actually bringing criminals to court.

The percentage of “smaller” crimes, particularly petty crimes such as theft and burglary that are solved is still lower than deemed acceptable by many Swedish citizens.
Holgersson, S. and J. Knutsson (2012), Vad gör egentligen polisen? (Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling. LIU-IEI-Research Report 12/0004. Linköping: Linköpings Universitet).

Statskontoret (2018), Ombildningen till en samlad polismyndighet. Slutrapport. (Report number 2018:18) (Stockholm: Statskontoret).
Since 2010, opinion polling has shown that confidence in the police is consistently high and satisfaction regarding policing performance is fairly high (28% of those polled express that they are “very satisfied”). Research shows that this is independent of the actual conduct and performance of police officers. The number of registered criminal incidents per capita has declined from 93 per 1,000 citizens in 2002 to 43 per 1,000 in 2017. The total number of years people have been sentenced to serve in Dutch prisons has declined from 12,000 in 2005 to 7,000 in 2015. At the same time, the percentage of resolved cases remains steady, at about 25%. A recent CBS report calls this “the mystery of disappearing crime.” Possible explanations are the rise of organized crime, new types of crime and a declining rate of crime reporting among the public.

Cybercrime rates (hacking, internet harassment, commercial and identity fraud, cyberbullying) remained stable since 2015. Illegal cryptographic software and phishing have become standard cybercrimes. In 2015, 11% of the population were victims of cybercrime, while three-quarters of cybercrime cases were not reported to the police. In research commissioned by McAfee, the American Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that cybercrime costs the Dutch economy approximately €8.8 billion per year (or 1.5% of GDP). Recent studies have concluded that the Dutch police lack the technical expertise to effectively tackle cybercrime. Since 2011, the Dutch government has been implementing an EU-coordinated National Cybersecurity Strategy that prioritizes prevention over detection. Regarding terrorism threats, the intelligence services (Nationale Coordinator Terrorismebestrijding, established 2004) appear able to prevent attacks. Fighting terrorism and extremism, and anticipating political radicalization and transborder crime have increased in priority. A new 2017 law on intelligence and security services was rejected in a consultative referendum, but was nevertheless enacted with minor adjustments.

There is deep concern about the infiltration of organized crime in local politics and business, which results in the unwanted “mingling of the underworld” with the formal economy and the undermining of public administration. Recently, a number of reports drew attention to the scale of illegal drug production and distribution in the Netherlands and beyond. Synthetic drugs with an estimated street value of over €18 billion and marihuana production have become a structural part of Dutch economy, thereby creating a constant danger of spill-overs into the mainstream economy. Calls for legalization and regulation have not brought about policy changes so far, although local experiments have been implemented.

The policies of the present government focus on cost reduction, and the centralization of the previously strictly municipal and regional police, judicial and penitentiary systems. In 2015, the Dutch government spent €10 billion (a reduction of €3 billion from 2010) on public order and safety (police, fire protection, disaster protection, judicial and penitentiary system). Recent reports indicate serious problems in implementing reforms, with police officers claiming severe loss of operational capacity. Meanwhile, there is profound discontent and unrest inside the Ministry of Justice and Safety. Judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal personnel have voiced public complaints about the “managerialization” of the judicial process and the resulting workload, leading to “sloppy” trials and verdicts. Efforts to digitize the judicial process, intended to reduce costs, resulted in a massive operational failure and a cost overrun of approximately €200 million. The government now intends to save €85 million in 2018 by cutting legal assistance to citizens. Government policy is attempting to relieve part of the burden on the judicial system by introducing intermediation procedures.

The overall picture from the safety and security, and judicial institutions of the Dutch government is one of increasing stress and challenge.
L. van der Veer et al., Vertrouwen in de politie: trends en verklaringen, Politie en Wetenschap, Apeldoorn, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2013

Criminaliteit en rechtshandhaving in 2014. Ontwikkelingen en samenhangen, WODC en CBS, Raad voor de Rechtspraak, 2015

Cybersecuritymonitor 2017, CBS,, consulted on 29 oktober 2017

Evaluatierapport van de zevende wederzijdse evaluatie “De praktische uitvoering en toepassing van het Europese beleid inzake preventie en bestrijding cybercriminaliteit.” Rapport Nederland, Raad van de Europese Unie, Brussel, 15 April 2015 (zoek.officiele, consulted 26 October 2015)

Veiligheidsmonitor, 2018 ((, consulted 7 November 2018)

Jurien de Jong, Het Mysterie van verdwenen criminaliteit, Statistische Trends, CBS, Mei 2018, Den Haag

Tops, P. et al, Waar een klein land groot in kan zijn. Nederland en synthetische drugs in de afgelopen 50 jaar.The Hague 2018

NRC-Handelblad, Nog hogere tekorten bij rechtspraak, 21 August 2018

NRC-Handelblad, Dekker overweegt drastische hervorming rechtsbijstand, 25 September 2018
Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
Despite relatively generous budgets, police forces remain ineffective, and are distrusted by both Bulgarian citizens and the country’s EU partners.
Still, most citizens live relatively safely, and crime statistics have fallen in recent years. However, organized crime and violence against migrants remain serious problems. Violence against women, an issue brought to the front of public debates due to the government’s attempt in 2018 to push through the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, has not been effectively addressed by state institutions.
Jones, J. (2018): The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), in: R. Manjoo, J. Jones (eds.), The Legal Protection of Women From Violence: Normative Gaps in International Law. London/ New York: Routledge, pp. 147-173.
Despite the crisis, homicide rates have remained stable (or even declined) and consistently far below the OECD average (1 per 1,000 compared to 3.6 per 100,000 inhabitants). The same is true for most other types of crime (e.g., robbery, burglary, assault and rape) reported to the police. This may be interpreted by social and resources-based factors. First, family ties remain strong in Greece and were further strengthened during the crisis when the unemployed and poor relied upon members of their kin for social protection. Second, with the exception of a few regions (e.g., the island of Crete), the circulation of firearms is very small and restricted.

It may also be interpreted by relatively high government expenditure on public order and safety (at 2.2% of GDP in 2016) that remain among the highest in the EU-28. However, this does not mean that there was extensive, let alone efficient, policing of Greek cities. Expenditure was primarily channeled to sustain a large police force. It is telling that Greece exhibits the largest public expenditure on policing among all EU-28 countries (1.4% of Greece’s GDP), though effectiveness is widely disputed.

Trust in the police is comparatively low. This is probably due to the unwillingness or incapability of the police to control several central neighborhoods in large cities where there are daily incidents of petty theft, burglaries, and drug use. Police protection for refugees and migrants from attacks by racist groups, including by militants of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, is clearly insufficient.

In the period under review, public opinion surveys noted a growing dissatisfaction on police inertia regarding (usually non-life threatening) violent protests. For example, there were frequent violent riots in central Athens organized by anarchist and extra-parliamentary left-wing groups. In almost all cases, the police, under the close control of the Minister of Citizen Protection, did not intervene to protect state and private property. Moreover, police stations were physically attacked by some radical left groups. The government has shown tolerance particularly toward groups which frequently engage in low-intensity violence (e.g., throwing paint against the buildings of foreign embassies in Athens or invading government or embassy buildings in order to distribute leaflets or smash windows).

In summary, while rates of some crimes (e.g., homicides and thefts) are low, there is an increase in security risks owing to uncontrolled violent political groups.
Data on homicides and thefts as well as trust toward police, is drawn on the SGI statistical data available on this platform. Also, data is derived from OECD Better Life Index 2016,
Data on government expenditure on public order and safety is available from Eurostat,
In a 2017 OECD survey, 61% of Turkish respondents stated that they felt safe walking alone at night, slightly lower than the OECD average of 69%. Moreover, 74,4% of respondents to the TUIK 2017 Life Satisfaction Survey expressed satisfaction with Turkey’s security services. However, the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2017 ranked Turkey 101 out of 113 countries in terms of order and security as a factor of rule of law. The rule of law in Turkey has deteriorated in recent years due to the increasing threat of terrorism and extremism, the failed coup attempt and the government’s use of state of emergency powers until its end in June 2018. Crime is poorly controlled, and instances of terrorism and violence, including intimidation and muggings, are increasing.

Although Turkey’s homicide rate is 1.7, lower than the OECD average of 3.6 since the beginning of 2015, homicides – particularly murders of women (honor crimes) – have increased. In 2017, 409 women were killed, 387 children were sexually abused and 332 women were subjected to sexual violence. The annual number of women who died from violence rose to 335 as of November 2018.

The General Directorate of Security was allocated €3.9 billion in 2017 of which 81% was spent on personnel. About 99% of budgetary allocation was spent on public order and security. There are approximately 331 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants. A total of 8,998 police officers were dismissed by a decree issued in July 2018 within the scope of FETO operations. The Turkish National Police (TNP) collaborates extensively with domestic partners and international organizations, such as INTERPOL, EUROPOL, SECI, AGIT, BM, CEPOL and FRONTEX. Moreover, the TNP has introduced an e-government infrastructure in many divisions and initiated several projects intended to bring operations into harmony with the EU acquis communautaire.

The failed coup attempt in July 2016 and the lack of sufficient personnel prevented several departments from achieving their performance goals and required a reorganization. Human trafficking and ongoing reorganization in the security sector need a holistic, integrated and well-coordinated policy strategy.

The Under-Secretariat of Public Order and Safety was established in 2010, but closed by Decree No. 703 in July 2018. The new Department of Internal Security Strategies was established by a presidential decree in September 2018.

The EU sponsored €5.4 million, 24-month Development of Civilian Oversight of Internal Security Sector project was launched in 2018.
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The United States invests massively in efforts to protect citizens against security risks such as crime and terrorism. In the years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States built an extraordinarily large security establishment centered in the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. Since 9/11, the United States has been subject to only smaller-scale attacks from homegrown terrorists.

The government has had less success dealing with two other kinds of violence. First, a number of large cities are plagued by homicides, primarily in inner city black and Latino neighborhoods. New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago all number among the world’s 50 cities with the highest homicide rates. Second, there are repeated instances of individuals conducting large-scale violent attacks on civilians in public spaces, killing large numbers of people, often using semi-automatic weapons with large ammunition clips. Under pressure from the National Rifle Association and its mass membership,
Congress has failed to pass legislation tightening weapon regulations. In 2018, a massive national protest – led by students from a Florida high school that had suffered an attack – increased the pressure on lawmakers to introduce tighter restrictions on the sale and acquisition of guns and other weapons.
In addition, the 2014 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb drew attention to a possibly growing phenomenon of excessive police violence, especially against African Americans. The Black Lives Matter protest movement gained momentum during 2015 and has since remained active, highlighting the insecurity of racial minorities vulnerable to harassment or violence by local police departments. Evidence suggests that, in the event of an encounter, police are in fact no more likely to use lethal force against a black criminal suspect than against a white one. In addition, law-enforcement sources have suggested that the additional scrutiny of police practices has inhibited police effectiveness and led to increases in crime in certain areas. In terms of actual casualties and loss of life, the frequency of mostly black-on-black inner-city violence is by far the greatest failure to provide safe living conditions.
Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Mexico has been among the most dangerous countries in the world and there have been no substantial improvement in recent years. The main reason for this high homicide rate is that Mexico has become a major center for the transit of illegal drugs to the United States. In brutal competition with one another, Mexico’s criminal gangs or cartels, have carried out horrific acts and killed thousands. Moreover, violence has become increasingly intertwined with local, regional and national politics. From a regional perspective, Mexico has only a slightly lower homicide rate than Honduras and Venezuela.

To solve the problem, Mexican governments have been actively fighting the drug mafia with military and security forces. However, the so-called war on drugs has actually contributed to an increase in the murder rate.
Mexico has improved the bureaucratic efficiency of some of its crime-fighting operations, but there are still huge problems. These problems include a lack of bureaucratic cooperation, rampant corruption within the security apparatus, the immense scale of criminal activity in Mexico and the infiltration of law enforcement agencies by organized crime. The National Security Commission has argued that the low wages paid to the security forces is one reason for this situation. Thus, one can say that internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens. This explains the proliferation of self-defense groups throughout the country and a lack of trust in the authorities, which are – especially at the local level – frequently infiltrated by organized crime.

More worrying still, the judicial system is not designed to convict powerful and wealthy criminals. It is too difficult to convict criminal suspects in Mexico who can afford wealthy lawyers. Additionally, Mexico has suffered several public scandals which have further damaged public confidence in the authorities. These scandals include prison escapes by high-profile criminals and unexplained massacres in rural areas. In at least part of its territory, Mexico is a failed state.

During the election campaign, the incoming government promised to gradually reduce the militarization of the fight against the drug cartels. Nevertheless, in November 2018 López Obrador announced a plan to create a new national guard which would also rely on military support. The new authority will have a body of 50,000 people headed by the military. In the election campaign, López Obrador spoke above all about solving the problem by tackling the social challenges confronting citizens. However, this approach would only address one root cause of the problem. The militarization of the conflict is a central problem.
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