Cover: Development of a European Crime Report

Development of a European Crime Report

Improving safety and justice with existing crime and criminal justice data

Published Aug 2, 2011

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.

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

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