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TRENDS IN JUVENILE CRIME OVER THE PERIOD 2004-2014

Registered Juvenile Suspects

In Austria, usually the annual Crime Reports by the Federal Ministry of Interior are used to demonstrate trends in juvenile delinquency. Table 11.1 shows the data of registered juvenile suspects (i.e. persons who have been identified as alleged offenders based on a strong suspicion by police) between 2004 and 2014. In detail, the table provides the data of all police-reported alleged offenders regardless of the offenders’ age in Austria per year, as well as the data for juveniles (14 < 18) and young adults (18 < 21).[1]

For all age groups, the absolute figures and the special crime rates (Besondere KriminalitatsbelastungszahlBKBZ) are included. The BKBZ refers to the number of suspects among 100,000 inhabitants of the same age, in order to see crime trends over years in a better way by eliminating demographic changes.

Table 11.1. Juvenile delinquency

Year

Total

14 < 18

18 < 21

No

BKBZ

No

BKBZ

No

BKBZ

2004

247,425

3048

28,700

7511

30,962

10,440

2005

243,493

2979

27,678

7159

30,784

10,393

2006

238,111

2892

28,683

7314

28,726

9682

2007

247,021

2983

33,068

8343

30,092

10,119

2008

240,554

2893

35,912

9010

28,261

9445

2009

246,378

2955

33,063

8289

30,571

10,145

2010

239,954

2869

29,306

7441

27,927

9167

2011

259,028

3088

28,045

7251

30,486

9914

2012

259,923

3087

26,549

6988

28,467

9200

2013

270,967

3215

25,935

7004

28,908

9400

2014

255,815

3017

26,809

7403

26,577

8751

Police reported alleged offenders per age group in absolute numbers (No) and per 100,000 inhabitants of the peer group in Austria (BKBZ).

Source: Austrian Ministry of Interior (annual Austrian Crime Reports—Kriminalitatsberichte)

Table 11.2. Typical offences committed by juveniles (BKBZ)

Year

Total

Life and limb

Property

2004

7511

1739

4423

2005

7159

1712

3915

2006

7314

1854

4189

2007

8343

2174

4768

2008

9010

2270

5355

2009

8289

2135

4662

2010

7441

1997

4195

2011

7251

1987

3925

2012

6988

1846

3590

2013

6698

1625

3417

2014

7404

1616

3343

Police reported alleged juvenile offenders (all offences; offences against life and limb; property offences) per 100,000 inhabitants of the peer group in Austria (BKBZ)

Source: Austrian Ministry of Interior (Austrian Crime Reports—Kriminalitatsberichte)

From 2004 to 2008 there was an increase from about 7500 to 9000 suspects among 100,000 inhabitants of the same age (BKBZ) and from 2008 to 2014 a decrease to about 7500. The BKBZ of young adults has always been between 9100 and 10,500, only in 2014 the number went below 9000 suspects.

The figures in Table 11.1 show also that the delinquency rate of juveniles is two times as high as the average criminal delinquency rate in Austria, and the delinquency rate of young adults is even twice as high as the juveniles. These numbers underline the understanding of juvenile delinquency as being primarily a temporary phenomenon in the coming of age period, which legitimates specially adapted rules for juveniles.

Research indicates, however, that registered offences in the official statistics of police reports are influenced by internal and external factors that are not directly linked to an increase or decrease in delinquency.

The official police-registered data of juvenile delinquency significantly depends on the public’s willingness to report criminal behaviour. However, it is assumed that the increasing trend to report does not correlate to an increasing danger of falling victim to crime (Fuchs and Krucsay 2011).

The typical offences (allegedly) committed by juveniles are offences against life and limb and property-related offences (e.g. property damage and theft). The data can be seen in Table 11.2.

  • [1] Data to minors, who are not criminal responsible in Austria, see Bruckmuller and Schumann(2014), see also Grafl (2009).
 
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