EFUS “Country profile”: Latvia

Last update : 08/04
Population (2004) : 2.319.200

1.Crime statistics

Crime rate (2003) : 22,21 ‰
Global tendency : + 41,17% (1998-2003)
Main Offences (2003) :
Theft : 52,1%
Robbery : 4,8%
Hooliganism : 2,8%
Drug related crimes : 1,9%
Intentional bodily injury : 1,7%
Offenders (2002) :
Total : NA
Minors percentage (< 18) : 4,5%
Women percentage : 5,76%
Foreigners percentage : 0,47%
More on crime stats
Prison population (07.05.2004) : 7.857
Prison capacity (2004) : 9.096
Age of criminal responsibility : 14
National victimisation survey :  Yes (irregularly)

2. Safety and crime prevention (general)

Police forces : 8.807 (376 per 100.000 inhabitants)
Judicial system workforce : 1.300 (400 judges, 17 per 100.000 inhabitants)
Private security forces : 5000
Relevant NGO’s operating in the field of crime prevention : Crisis center “Skalbes”, Riga, psychological and juridical assistance for victims of domestic violence ; Dardedze center against domestic violence/child abuse, Riga ; Latvian Gender Problem Center, Riga, prevention of AIDS and trafficking in women ; Resource Center for Women “Marta”, Riga, prevention of trafficking in women ; Transparency International Latvia

3. Competence of State, regional and local authorities / Partnership structures

National Crime Prevention Council :  Yes (since 1993)
National actions plans : Pilot projects for prevention of violence in schools in co-operation with the police (1999), Annual program of prevention of juvenile delinquency and protection of children from criminality integrated in the rights of the child law (1999), National Strategy for Corruption Prevention and Combating (2004 –2008)

Regional level of competence : Regional authorities are in charge of ensuring public order, fighting alcoholism, sexual abuse and supporting orphans as well as families in difficulty.

Local authorities : Big municipalities with a strong municipal police dispose of an administration of juvenile delinquency prevention whose units co-operate with the State police. According to the Law of prevention of crime municipalities can set up local centers of crime prevention. They unite different actors implicated in the field in order to analyze the local situation and to propose policy measures to local authorities.

Role of elected officials (city mayors) : Elected officials appoint the municipal police and its leadership. The district’s mayor has to approve the choice of the head of district police.

4.  Main Debates

Drug addiction, Smuggling and the loss in budget incomes, Juvenile delinquency, Trafficking in human beings, Bribery of authorities and inside the police, Violence on TV