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Perception of Crime

Preventing and combating crime is one of the major goals of surveillance.
We found that crime is a concern shared by all countries, albeit to differing levels.
What does crime look like in different countries, and what types of crime are most prevalent?

The perceived crime rate varies significantly by country

Perceived crime rate by country

The experience of crime varies in different parts of the world. In all three Latin American countries surveyed, more than 50% of survey respondents said that they or someone they know has been a victim of crime in the past year.
The US is the only other country that’s response also exceeds 50%, the highest among the five Western countries surveyed.
Comparatively, only 26% of German respondents said that they or someone they know had experienced crime in the past year. This was a far lower response than in Sweden (37%), the United Kingdom (35%), and Canada (32%).
Crime is significantly less problematic in Japan and Taiwan. Just 12% of Japanese respondents and 16% of Taiwanese respondents said that they or someone they know has experienced a crime in the past year.
Among all surveyed regions, the most common type of crime experienced was burglary (27%), followed by robbery (24%) and vehicle theft (20%). The US had the highest number of incidents for 7 of the 10 crimes listed, while Japan had the lowest.
Gender-based crimes such as rape (9%), stalking (23%) and harassment (33%) were reported most in the US. Hate crime was also reported most among US respondents (11%), followed by the UK (8%) and Brazil (8%). Aggravated assault and robbery are most common in Mexico.

“Gender-based crimes” were reported most common in the US
Editor’s Notes

In the US, the incidence rate of rape was far higher than the global average (3%), with 9% of US respondents claiming that they or someone they know had been raped in the last year.
33% experienced or knew someone that experienced harassment (global average: 16%), and 23% experienced or knew someone that experienced stalking (global average: 9%).

COVID-19 had no major impact on perceived crime rates and sense of security

According to this survey, COVID-19 wasn’t perceived as having had a significant impact on the crime rate in all countries except Chile. 77% of Chilean respondents said that the crime rate increased after the pandemic. 40% of both American and Mexican respondents felt the same.

Most respondents felt that the COVID-19 pandemic did not have a perceivable impact on crime rate

In Germany and England, 67% of respondents felt that the crime rate had not changed significantly. That number is as high as 88% in Japan and 76% in Taiwan.
Also, respondents did not observe a significant change in perceptions of safety and security as a result of the pandemic. Overall, 50% to 60% of survey respondents felt there was no change brought on by the pandemic.
44% of Taiwanese respondents believe that their sense of security has declined due to the pandemic, a higher percentage than in other economically developed countries. In fact, Taiwan is the country most worried about the COVID-19 pandemic among the ten countries surveyed, reflecting unique concerns.

Rape, harassment, and stalking were the only crimes that showed a clear gender divide

Percentage of reported 'gender-based crimes' by male and female respondents

There were no observable trends in terms of gender for most crimes, except for crimes typically classified as ‘gender-based’. Namely, female respondents reported higher rates of rape, harassment, and stalking than male respondents.

Key Conclusions

Despite each country’s unique history, culture, and economy, burglary was the most common crime type across the board. However, when it comes to the actual incidence of crime, the numbers vary drastically among the ten surveyed countries. The incidence rates of crimes in the US and Latin American countries were significantly higher than in Japan and Taiwan.