Development of a European Crime Report

Improving safety and justice with existing crime and criminal justice data

by Priscillia Hunt, Beau Kilmer, Jennifer Rubin

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Understanding crime in the European Union (EU) is a complex endeavour. National differences in how crime data are collected and reported are important, albeit partial, explanations for the complexity. To improve cross-national comparisons and benchmarking in crime and criminal justice policy, the European Commission Directorate-General for Home Affairs commissioned RAND Europe to create a framework for developing a European Crime Report (ECR). In particular, RAND Europe scoped data availability issues and current projects and information that could feed into an ECR. Furthermore, a variety of stakeholders were interviewed to provide a more comprehensive, reliable assessment of opportunities and challenges to developing an ECR.

Research uncovered it is not necessary to collect new data to begin developing an ECR. What is essential, however, is to use available data through "Smart Aggregation", a term we introduce referring to the provision of contextual information highlighting definitional differences in a more intelligent way. Smart Aggregation brings together existing CCJ data and reporting in a manner that facilitates informed comparisons and discourages less useful comparisons and analysis.

Three decision areas identified as noteworthy for enhancing sustainability of an ECR are: funding streams, model of implementation, and dissemination and communication strategy. The report develops recommendations on how to address each of these key decisions areas with a possible timeline for implementation over the course of three years. The report also provides an indicative table of contents for a report, a website snapshot to disseminate the report and a method for generating bespoke reports for users.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Improving Safety and Justice in the EU with Existing Crime and Criminal Justice Data

  • Chapter Two

    Data Collection on Crime and Criminal Justice for the European Union

  • Chapter Three

    Reporting on Crime and Criminal Justice for the European Union

  • Chapter Four

    Challenges to Creating a European Crime Report

  • Chapter Five

    Smart Aggregation of Crime and Criminal Justice Data

  • Chapter Six

    Dissemination and Implementation Options

  • Chapter Seven


  • Appendix A

    Process for Data Reporting and Potential Reporting Gaps

  • Appendix B

    Descriptions of Report Structures

  • Appendix C

    Findings of Interviews, Surveys and Conference Session

  • Appendix D

    Data Matrices

  • Appendix E


Research conducted by

The research in this report was prepared for the European Commission Directorate-General Home Affairs and conducted by RAND Europe.

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