Crime, safety and victim’s rights

Today the report ‘Crime, safety and victims’ rights’ from the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will be published. FRA and Statistics Netherlands have worked together on this specific research and Statistics Netherlands took care of the sampling and the weighting.

Short summary of the results:

In 2019 more than one in four Europeans reported to be victims of harassment over the past 12 months and 22 million (6%) were physically attacked in one year. But crime victims typically do not report their experiences because of fear of retaliation or intimidation from offenders. The great difference between official crime figures (police figures) and people’s experiences of crime (as reported in this survey) shed light on the true extent of crime in the EU. The findings tell us that young people, people who do not identify as heterosexual, and people with disabilities are particularly affected by crime. Victims often have difficulties accessing their rights and may feel voiceless.

Some incidents that are not reported to the police come to the attention of other authorities and services, when victims either report the incidents or seek assistance on issues linked to experiencing violence, such as medical treatment for injuries. The contact that police and other authorities and services have with victims of violence should be seen as opportunities to inform victims of their rights and other measures should be put in place to help them to seek redress and overcome the incident and its consequences.

Moreover, crime prevention is not only a matter for the police. The responsibility extends to everyone.

This report should guide national policymakers as they deliver on their international commitments and the EU’s victims’ rights laws. It complements the EU Strategy on victims’ rights which aims to empower victims of crime to report it more frequently. It calls for Member States to ensure access to justice, offer targeted support, support women better (since over a third of the physical violence against women takes place at home) and facilitate crime reporting.

This report is one of a series of reports looking at people’s views and experiences of fundamental rights. The findings draw on responses to FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey from across all EU Member States, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom. It ran from January to October 2019.