Registered Crime up 9.8% in Georgia

Official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Georgia read that last year crime went up by 9.8%, however, the number of opened cases also increased compared to 2018.

Non-governmental organization Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) released a report on crime statistics, saying that, according to statistics published on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2019, 64,123 crimes were registered, which is about 10% more than in 2018.

“The number of crimes registered in 2019 is almost twice as high as in 2017, and the number of open cases is about 20% lower,” the NGO said.

IDFI says that since 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has been proactively publishing crime statistics every month. Also, since 2018, the Ministry has clarified that the crime reporting system has improved significantly, which is one of the main reasons for the sharp increase in the number of registered crimes.

The MIA statistics read that during 2019, compared to the previous year, traffic crimes decreased by 6.09% and crimes related to state officials by 1.55%, while crimes against health and public morality went down by 15.14%.

The number of drug offenses increased by about 51% compared to the previous year, largely due to 1056 cases of repeated drug use. In addition, the number of cases of drug plant cultivation increased by 108% compared to the previous year, and by 24% in drug purchase, storage or sale.

“The increase in the category of drug offenses to some extent can be linked to a tightening of drug policy,” IDFI said.

In 2019, the number of crimes committed against life declined by 9.19% compared to the previous year. The number of premeditated murders decreased by 49% (37 cases less), but at the same time the number of premeditated murders in aggregated circumstances increased by 56% (14 cases more). Also, the rate of attempted murder increased by 31.7%.

Moreover, in 2019, seven women died as a result of domestic violence and 4564 persons were charged with domestic violence and domestic crimes.

The MIA statistics read that 10,266 restraining orders were issued to protect victims of domestic violence, which is 34% more than in 2018. The ministry says the order was violated by 376 individuals, which is a decrease compared to the previous year. Also, the number of people convicted for driving a family member to suicide has increased.

The number of crimes against property increased by 2% (516 cases) in 2019, largely due to 358 cases of theft. However, there is a significant decrease, 19.8% (53 cases), in the number of burglaries. In general, the largest share of registered crime comes to theft. Consequently, this type of crime has the biggest impact on the overall rate. According to statistics for 2019, the rate of monthly theft registered in January-July increased from 14% to 35% compared to the same month of the previous year. In August, it decreased slightly (-4.22%), and the trend of theft registered after September changed radically and decreased from 20% to 30% compared to the same month of the previous year.

Other crimes that saw an increase in 2019 were rape (+24%, +23 cases), carrying a cold weapon (+31.5% +119 cases), threatening (+23.12%, +413 cases) crimes against the enforcement of judicial acts (+55.39%, +534 cases), production of false documents (+25.2%, +449 cases), and computer crime (+42.43%, +538 cases).

However, compared to 2018, last year the number of opened cases increased by 1%, which is a positive trend, according to IDFI.

By Tea Mariamidze

17 February 2020 20:12