A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which looked at nine Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia and compared the statistics it found with samples from Western Europe and around the world.
Here are some of the highlights:
- You are more likely to be assaulted, robbed and burgled in Britain than in the region of southeast Europe
- Your car is at least ten times more likely to be stolen in Britain than in Albania, Croatia or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
- Western Europe suffers from double the amount of burglary, over four times as much assault, and 15 times as much robbery as the Balkans.
- There are more police and more public prosecutors in Albania than there are in England and Wales, per head of population; even impoverished Moldova has more judges.
- In Britain, 1 330 vehicles in every 100 000 are reported stolen annually, compared to 166 in Croatia, 113 in Macedonia and just 90 in Albania.
- In England and Wales there are just five judges per 100 000 citizens, the lowest proportion among the countries examined.
- In Croatia there are 42, while even Albania, has 11. Moldova just beats England and Wales with seven.
- England and Wales also have fewer policemen and women. There are just 261 per 100 000 citizens compared to 353 in Albania and 427 in Croatia.
- There are also fewer prosecutors (5.2 per 100 000 citizens) than in Croatia (12.3), Albania (12.7), Macedonia (8.6) and Moldova (16.6).
We've been to eight out of the nine listed countries (Moldova the only exception) and whilst we obviously can't confirm or deny the findings, we can certainly add weight to the topic by saying we have never felt safer or more at ease whilst in any of the places mentioned.
The people are friendly, generous and nothing is too much trouble for them; something I'm not sure I'd be able to say with hand on heart about England any longer. And that, is such a crying shame. :-(
The report is entitled "Crime and its Impact on the Balkans".