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An effect which deprives a statistical result of representativeness by systematically distorting it, as distinct from a random error which may distort on any one occasion but balances out on the average.
A technique where some information gathered through the current or previous surveys is used to avoid double counting of victimization incidents. In the NCVS, this is done by providing the interviewer with a summary of the incidents reported in the preceding interview and, if a similar incident is reported, it can be determined whether or not it is a new one by discussing it with the victim. Events which occurred after the reference period can be set aside for inclusion with the data from the following interview.
A sizable portion of criminal events are never reported to the police and are therefore not included in police or any other statistics. This unknown number is often referred to as the “dark figure” of crime. Victimization surveys may capture a part of the “dark figure”.
Coding is the technical procedure for converting verbal information into numbers or other symbols which can be more easily counted and tabulated.
Data disclosure. Disclosure relates to the inappropriate attribution of information to a data subject, whether an individual or an organization. Disclosure has two components: identification and attribution.
Data processing. The operation performed on data in order to derive new information according to a given set of rules.
Respondent turns down the interview and refuses to make
another appointment/does not cooperate. This is generally the end of
contact with this particular respondent. See also soft refusal.
Either a one-person household, defined as an arrangement in which one
person makes provision for his or her own food or other essentials
for living without combining with any other person to form part of
a multi-person household, defined as a group of two or more persons
living together who make common provision for food or other essentials
for living. The persons in the group may pool their incomes and have
a related or unrelated person or a combination of persons both related
and unrelated. This arrangement exemplifies the housekeeping concept.
In an alternative definition used in many countries exemplifying the
so-called household-dwelling concept, a household consist of all persons
living together in a housing unit.
The number of new cases per unit of time in a given population, or the numbers of new cases divided by the size of the population at risk.
The incidence of an event is the number of new occurrences of the event that occur during a specified period of time in a population at risk for the occurrence of the event. The incidence rate is the number of new occurrences of the event divided by the size of the population at risk for the occurrence of the event.
Imputation is a procedure for entering a value for a specific data item where the response is missing or unusable.
A type of composite measure developed by Renis Likert (1932) in an attempt to improve measurement in social research through the use of standardized response categories in survey questionnaires. Likert items are those using such response categories as strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. Such items may be used in the construction of true Likert scales as well as other types of composite measures.
Memory decay is a natural phenomenon, which is part of the “forgetting” process. Although natural decay is not the only theory of forgetting (for example, it cannot explain why some information may be temporarily forgotten and perfectly retrieved at a later point), in victimization surveys, memory decay indicates that respondents may simply forget incidents that happened to them.
Electronic databases comprising the individual survey records, anonymized
A case of a respondent who was the victim of more than one type of crime. It differs from ‘Repeat Victimization’ which refers to a case of a respondent who was the victim of the same type of crime more than once.
A sample of units where the selected units in the sample have an unknown probability of being selected and where some units of the target population may even have no chance at all of being in the sample. Forms of non-probability sampling are numerous, such as voluntary samples (only responses of volunteers are used), quota samples, expert samples.
In sample surveys, the failure to obtain information from a designated individual for any reason (death, absence, refusal or reply) is often called a non-response and the proportion of such individuals of the sample is called the non-response rate.
An error in sample estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations. Such errors may arise from many different sources such as defects in the frame, faulty demarcation of sample units, defects in the selection of sample units, mistakes in the collection of date due personal variations or misunderstanding or bias, negligence, or dishonesty on the part of the investigator or the interviewee, mistakes at the stage of processing of the data, etcetera.
Outsource data collection.
To have an external market research or other related business take over part of the work of the survey. This can be a quicker and cheaper alternative, and for agencies who do not maintain panels of interviewers or other forms of infrastructure necessary to conduct population-based surveys, this can be an important option to cost and consider.
A survey, usually on a small scale, carried out prior the main survey, primarily to gain information to improve the efficiency of the main survey. For example, it may be used to test questionnaire, to ascertain the time taken by field procedures or to determine the most effective size of the sampling unit. The term “exploratory survey” is also used in those special circumstances when little is known about the material or domain under inquiry.
Typically a census of all criminal offences reported to, or detected by, the police and subsequently recorded as crimes.
Before starting survey fieldwork, it is important to pre-test the questionnaire to check whether its wording correctly conveys relevant concepts to the respondents. This is particularly important in the case of questionnaires translated into different languages.
The percentage of respondents who have experienced victimization at least once during the reference period. It differs from the incidence rate which indicates the number of incidents. The prevalence of a characteristic is the number of existing cases of the characteristic in a population at a designated time. Prevalence is measured either at a point of time or during a period of time. The prevalence rate is the number of existing cases of the characteristic divided by the size of the population in which the characteristic was identified and counted.
Probability sampling. Any method of selection of a sample based on the theory of probability; at any stage of the operation of selection the probability of any set of units being selected must be known. It is the only general method known which can provide a measure of precision of the estimate. Sometimes the term random sampling is used in the sense of probability sampling.
A planned and systematic pattern of all the actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product will conform to established requirements.
Quality control in the data review process measures the impact of data adjustment on the data. The statistical analysis of process inspection data for the purpose of controlling the quality of a manufactured product which is produced in large numbers. It aims at tracking and eliminating systematic variations in quality, or reducing them to an acceptable level, leaving the remaining variation to chance.
More recent incidents are more easily remembered than those occurring even a few months earlier. This phenomenon (similar to Memory decay) may generate a bias, that is, an effect which deprives the statistical result of representativeness by systematically distorting it towards more recent incidents (see also Internal telescoping).
Crime incident reported to the competent authorities, normally the
police, that has been included in relevant records and categorized
as a crime (synonymous with registered crime).
In one sense, this is synonymous with base period. It may also refer
to the length of time, for example, week or year, for which data are
A case of a respondent who was the victim of the same type of crime more
than once. It differs from ‘multiple victimization’ which refers to
a case of a respondent who was thevictim of more than one type of crime.
Crime incident reported to the competent authorities, normally the police.
Respondent burden. The effort, in terms of time and cost, required for respondents to provide satisfactory answers to a survey.
The number of respondents who complete a questionnaire compared to the
number assigned, usually expressed as a percentage. The response rate
can also apply to individual questions.
Sampling bias. Efecto
que That part of the difference between the expected value of the sample
estimator and the true value of the characteristic which results from
the sampling procedure, the estimating procedure, or a combination
That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate
thereof, derived from random sample, which is due to the fact that
only a sample o values is observed, as distinct from errors due to
imperfect selection, bias in response or estimation, errors of observation
and recording, etc. The totality of sampling errors in all possible
samples of the same size generates the sampling distribution of the
statistics which is being used to estimate the parent value.
Secondary victimization means the victimization that occurs not as a direct result of the criminal act but through the response of institutions and individuals to the victim. (Council of Europe, Committee of Ministries, Recommendation Rec (2006) 8 to Member States on assistance to crime victims)
Interviewers involved in victimization surveys require special training
to be able to ask sensitive questions and professionally deal with
the respondent’s emotions.
Screening design – the statistical design for a programme of experiments
which has the object of selecting a promising subset of treatments
for further development. In victimization surveys, typical screening
questions aim at ascertaining the respondent’s experience of victimization.
The first time a respondent declines to participate in the survey,
the respondent may be coded as a case of “soft refusal” and further
attempts at recruiting him/her for the survey can be made. “Soft
refusals” may turn into “hard refusals” when the respondent clearly
indicates he/she does not intent to cooperate.
A survey is an investigation about the characteristics of a given population by means of collecting data from a sample of that population and estimating their characteristics through the systematic use of statistical methodology.
Target Population. The target population is the set of units to be studied, for example the general population or businesses. In relation to victimization, the target population is the set of units that could be victims of the crimes under study.
Telescoping is the phenomenon by which respondents tend to change their
recollection of the time when incidents occurred. External telescoping
refers to incidents of victimizations occurring outside the survey
reference period, which are instead mentioned to the interviewer as
if they happened within the survey reference period. Internal telescoping
is the tendency of survey respondents to remember crime incidents occurring
more recently than they really did. Incidents within the survey reference
period may be moved by respondents from the more distant past to the
more recent past.
Unfounded incidents are those discarded as it could not be proven they
were crimes or did not occurred as they were reported.
‘Victims’ means persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered
harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic
loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through
acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operative
within Member States, including those laws proscribing criminal abuse
of power. (UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims
of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985).
A crime as it affects one individual person or household. For personal crimes, the number of victimizations is equal to the number of victims involved. The number of victimizations may be greater than the number of incidents because more than one person may be victimized during an incident. Each crime against a household is assumed to involve a single victim, the affected household.
Victimization rate .
A measure of the occurrence of victimizations among a specified population group. It may be calculated as a number per 100 or 1,000 and based on households or individuals.
Victimless crime .
Forms of illegal behavior that is unlikely to be known by the police because of their being consensual in nature, so the participants have no reason to complain to the police.
Please consult job opportunities at the Center of Excellence and at UNODC’s Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Internships at the Center of Excellence are unpaid temporary placements which enable undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the design and development of different international research projects as well as to capitalize on the resources generated by the strategic partnership between UNODC and INEGI in issues regarding crime, public security, victimization and justice.
Through their assignments, interns can also participate in ongoing projects and contribute to the accomplishment of their objectives.
Regional Meeting Victimization Survey.
From 9 to 11 October 2013, the Center of Excellence (CoE) in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Regional System of Standardized Indicators on Citizen Security (SES), organized the Regional Meeting Victimization Survey.
At this meeting different aspects of victimization surveys were discussed, seeking to promote best practices and standardization of the surveys to allow comparable results.
The meeting was attended by experts from 21 countries (Argentina , Bolivia , Brazil , Chile , Colombia ,Costa Rica ,Ecuador, El Salvador ,United States ,Guatemala , Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela) coming from National Statistical Offices , as well as representatives of the police and governments.
The event was also attended by representatives of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), the Democratic Security Observatory (OBSICA), the Central American Integration System (SICA), the National Institute of Statistics of Italy (ISTAT), and the University of Lausanne (Switzerland).
The meeting concluded with the approval and adoption of a working plan, which includes the formation of a working group for the development of a questionnaire and a common methodology for the development of victimization surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean. For this objective, the Center of Excellence will serve as Technical Secretariat of this working group.
Award Ceremony, Second International Thesis Competition on Public Security, Victimization and justice in Latin America.
September, 11th. The Center of Excellence held the award ceremony for the Second Thesis Competition on Public Security, Victimization and Justice in Latin America.
69 theses were received, 37 from undergraduate studies, 26 from master's and 6 from PhD. These came from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Italy and Mexico.
The winners from this second competition are:
Bachelor's Degree: Daniela Andrea Martinez Hernandez graduated from the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics , with: Después del autoritarismo: violaciones a Derechos Humanos en democracia, una paradoja para América.
Masters: Michel Estefan Gutiérrez, University of California Berkeley, with Violence, in México? Homicide in a Democritizing society.
Doctorate: Benjamin Lessing, University of California Berkeley, with The logic of violence in criminal war: Cartel-State conflict in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
The event included INEGI authorities, members of the advisory committee of the Center of Excellence, academics and staff from the above-mentioned institutions. This contest aims to promote academic research on issues endorsed by the Centre of Excellence which, among others, includes public security, victimization, justice, human rights and crime.
Coming up, News on the Third Thesis Competition.
Presentation of the book “Measuring and Analyzing Crime Against the Private Sector: International Experiences and the Mexican Practice”.
September 11, 2013. The Center of Excellence hosted the book presentation “Measuring and Analyzing Crime Against the Private Sector: International Experiences and the Mexican Practice”.
This publication, was developed with the support of the Center of Excellence, and it is an exercise that seeks to answer for the first time a number of different questions on crime that affects the private sector. It takes the experiences of different countries such as the United States, Switzerland, Italy, The Netherlands and Mexico.
The text was edited by Giulia Mugellini, researcher from the University of Zurich, and it gives a methodological and theoretical contribution to the field of crimes against businesses, with the support of empirical examples and data from a wide range of studies.
Crimes against businesses are a serious damage to the economic and social development. Therefore, it is paramount to understand how, where and when the crimes occur. This book includes the first comprehensive analysis of what it means to asses the crimes against businesses, and also features the most updated analysis of measurement tools implemented internationally.
Meeting of the working group on crime and justice statistics of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (SCA - ECLAC).
From 7 to 9 August 2013, the Center of Excellence organized the first meeting of the working group on crime and justice statistics of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( SCA - ECLAC ).
During the meeting there was an exchange of ideas related to the importance of establishing a solid methodology to develop comparable and high- quality statistics, as well as to improve victimization surveys.
This work group was integrated by the National Statistical Offices belonging to Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Mexico), and they deliberated about crime statistics and different methodologies, regarding security and criminal justice.
This meeting finished with the discussion and modification, according to the necessities of the region, of the three-year work plan. The plan will be subjected to examination and approval at the next session of the SCA-ECLAC, which will be held in November in Santiago, Chile.
This meeting was also attended by members of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Organization of American States (OAS) and Cisalva Institute.
The Center of Excellence, published a working paper about victimization of the private sector.
The 22nd of May the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice published the published the working paper on “How to measure and how to use statistical data to analyze the victimization of the private sector in Latin America” by Giulia Mugellini.
This working paper aims at identifying existing measures of the victimization of the private sector in Latin America and, on the basis of the existing experiences at international and European level, it aims at suggesting future orientations to measure this phenomenon more thoroughly in Latin America.
This working paper is now available in a digital format in the library of the Center of Excellence´s web page.
2nd thesis contest winners.
The Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice organized its Second International Thesis Contest on Public Security, Victimization and Justice in Latin America. The call was launched on November 1st 2012. The Center invited to participate all students of bachelor, master and PhD level which thesis were aim to analyze and generate knowledge on the subjects related with the Centre of Excellence through the use of statistical information
On this occasion we received 69 thesis distributed as follows:
• PhD: we receive 6 thesis of which the winner is Benjamin Lessing from the University of California, Berkeley with “The logic of violence in criminal war: Poster-State conflict in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil”.
• Master: we received 27 papers of which the winner is Michel Estefan Gutierrez from the University of California, Berkeley with “Violence, in Mexico? Homicide in a Democratizing society”
• Bachelor: we received 36 papers which the winner is Andrea Martínez Hernández del Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas con Después del autoritarismo: violaciones a Derechos Humanos en democracia, una paradoja para América Latina
The Center congratulates all participants and especially the winners of their 2nd Thesis Contest.
Visit to the Center of Excellence for Prison Reform and Drug Demand Reduction.
The Coordinator of the Center of Excellence visited the Center of Excellence of the United Nations for Prison Reform and Drug Demand Reduction, located in Dominican Republic, with the purpose of sharing knowledge and bring closer the work of these two projects.
The coordinator was received by his counterpart agency in Dominican Republic. The visit included the participation of the Coordinator of the New Model Prison Management who shared the experience of such model, its operation and results.
UN officials reviewed the importance of the meeting between the Centers of Excellence, to open channels and opportunities for cooperation. They also discussed the progress in the development of virtual training projects and the possibilities.
The Centre of Excellence and INEGI organized a workshop on the development of results-oriented indicators.
Mexico City.- From April 1st to 5th, the Centre of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), carried out the workshop "Introduction to Measuring Methods through the use of Indicators". This workshop highlighted the importance to create good quality indicators to measure and assess public policies.
Representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INEGI, and the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City were represented during the workshop. The speakers represented several institutions such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City (TSJDF), UNDP and INEGI The sessions of this workshop addressed the importance of creating high quality indicators oriented to measure and evaluate the outcomes obtained in each process and project . The contents of this workshop will be available shortly on the Centre of Excellence website.
Experts discuss crime statistics.
On February 4th - 6th the Centre of Excellence participated and co-organized an Expert Group meeting. During this meeting experts discussed a report prepared jointly by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime which will be presented to the United Nations Statistical Commission during its coming 44th session.
The report describes a road map to improve the quality and availability of national and global crime statistics. During this meeting, several topics were discussed such as the coordination of relevant actors in statistical production, the need to have clear statistical definitions for crime and justice procedures, as well as the creation of manuals to guide data collection and analysis oriented to satisfy policy making information demands.
Second Consultation Meeting on the international Crime Classification.
From February 7th - 8th, 2013 the second Consultation Meeting for developing an International Crime Classification for Statistical Purposes was carried out at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
This second meeting was a follow up for the previous consultation, which took place in Mexico City on October 2012. During these sessions crimes related to drugs, aggressions against authorities and public order, among others were discussed. The participants recognized the opportunity for developing an International Crime Classification for Statistical Purposes, based on events and not on legal definitions of crimes will facilitate its consistency and comparability. The coming activities to further develop this Classification will be supported by the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice.
Statistics is the science by which we try to figure out and make sense of the data from the real world; thus, 2013 has been considered as the international year of statistics
On 21-22 June, 44 participants gathered at INEGI headquarters for a two day workshop on Interactive Data Visualization (IDV) taught by Robin Houston and Duncan Clark from the The Guardian (KILN) and organized by the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice (CoE).
IDV mapping allows readers to engage with data by utilizing innovative web-based technologies. The interactivity permits users to play with and explore data in ways that still-images or videos cannot. While IDV techniques can appear similar to video formats by using built in speech and automated displays, the IDV design allows users to explore the information by linking data sources and relevant information articles in web-browsers.
Throughout the two-day workshop participants learned how to create interactive data through various theoretical and interactive lessons on IDV techniques. The course began by outlining when and where IDV techniques are better suited to express data than flat images such as videos or images. Participants learned crucial trips and tricks for developing effective IDV presentations such as utilizing the full capabilities of web-browsers or ensuring clarity.
The Conference took place from June 18-20 2014 in Mexico City and was jointly organized by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico ( INEGI), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC) and the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice.
More than 300 academics, researchers, members of non-governmental organizations, civil servants and members of national statistical offices, from over 40 different countries, shared experiences and analyzed new methodological tools to enhance the quality and availability of statistics on governance, homicide, organized crime, access to justice, corruption, victimization, criminal justice, trust in government and political participation.
The opening session saw the participation of Eduardo Sojo Garza Aldape, President of the Board of Government of INEGI; Antonio Mazzitelli, Regional Representative of UNODC in Mexico; Martine Durand, Chief of Statistics for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD); Angela Me, Chief of the Research and Trend Analysis Branch of UNODC; Mario Palma Rojo, Vice-president of the Government Board of INEGI and José Antonio Meade Kuribeña, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico ( SRE).
The award ceremony for the Third International Thesis Competition on Public Safety, Victimization and Justice in Latin America also took place during the conference. The works of Victor Hugo Gómez Ayala (Undergraduate winner), María Lucía Freira Polleri (Master’s winner) and Nallely Amaranta Arias García (Doctoral winner) were recognized. Additionally, the participation of all participants who submitted their thesis work was officially acknowledged and appreciated.
The conference also introduced the book “Governance at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2014” that published by the OECD and the Inter-American Development Bank ( IADB). The objective of the book is to help citizens and policymakers analyze and compare the relative performance of the governments of the countries members of the OECD. The Center of Excellence is in possession of several copies of this publication in its library. OECD . The Center of Excellence is in possession of several copies of this publication in its library.
The closing session of the event was headed by Mario Palma Rojo, Antonio Mazzitelli, James Lynch, Professor and Director of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice of the University of Maryland and Enrico Bisogno, Leader of the Statistics and Surveys Section of UNODC in Vienna. Collectively, the speakers outlined the importance of the conference for strengthening criminal justice statistical systems as well as developing and promoting standards and methodologies to secure their quality, opportunity and precision.
In the following weeks the contents of the 25 sessions of the conference will be published on the website of the Center of Excellence.
On June 17th, an Expert Group Meeting on Governance Statistics was held at INEGI’s premises.
The main purposes of the meeting were to discuss and to come up with some efforts to harmonize Governance measurement. For that purpose, representatives from international organizations such as OECD, UNODC, UNDP, World Bank, Global Integrity and National Statistical Offices like INEGI and ABS and universities such as Pitssburgh, Zurich and CIDE met.
During the meeting, several definitions and international and domestic measurement experiences on governance were described. Hence, the participants shared their views and thoughts on what should be the next steps in order to harmonize governance statistics
As a result from the meeting, four aspects were emphasized by the participants:
1. What should be included in measuring governance;
2. Who should be in charge of the data collection;
3. What kind of data collection instruments should be used, and
4. What sort of quality standards ought to be met?
To conclude the meeting, the participants agreed on four main points:
1. In order to have a clearer understanding of what has been done, all international experiences and initiatives should be mapped;
2. Each party involved should collaborate with the measurements or subjects in which they have the most experience;
3. A pragmatic approach should lead the way while measuring governance; meaning that further work should be based on what has already been measured, and finally
4. INEGI will draft another document which will be based on the discussion project and on the Expert Group Meeting in order to further the efforts towards a Road Map on Governance Statistics.
The 3rd meeting of the Center of Excellence’s Advisory Committee took place on June 16th 2014. The committee is composed of 18 members from academia, government, national statistical offices and international organizations from 8 countries.
The 1st meeting took place in May 2001 at the same time as the Center of Excellence began its first period of activities. The 2nd meeting was held in May 2012 and occurred within the activities and framework of the First International Conference on Governance, Crime and Justice Statistics.
The 3rd meeting revised the progress achieved by the Center in each of the subjects related to its mandated activities. Analyzing the accomplished objectives in the initial three years revealed that the Center consolidated itself as a reference for global information and built a network of people, institutions and organizations focused on improving crime statistics. The committee decided that future activities of the Center should approach the issue of measuring governance through the analyses of accountability, corruption and the rule of law. Identifying and measuring governance in this way develops a greater understanding of institutional weaknesses that can cause higher incidences of crime. The 3rd meeting also concluded that the Center needed to begin developing prison survey methods, strengthening current initiatives focusing on developing common methodologies for victimization surveys in the region, and building the capacities of countries in this field through inside and online training.
The final Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the development of the International Crime Classification for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) was held in Vienna on 28-30 May 2014.
The meeting was jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSC) ), with the support of the Centre of Excellence. The meeting mainly aimed to:
review results of the testing of the ICCS, which was conducted among volunteer countries during March-April 2014
discuss and review the ICCS with a view to its finalization
review the timeline plans and activities required to finalize the ICCS and
discuss the contents and structure of the Manual that will accompany the ICCS for its implementation.
The ICCS is the result of close collaboration between national statistical offices, other national government institutions, regional and international organizations, branches and sections of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), and the Center of Excellence (CoE) for Statistical Information on Government, Victimization of Crime, Public Security and Justice.
In order to develop a global perspective on crime classification and to bring in as many national experiences on crime data collections as possible, extensive consultations were carried out throughout the development of the ICCS
The Third International Thesis Competition 2014 was organized by the Center of Excellence for Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice. The call for papers started on November 1st, 2013 and ended on February 28th, 2014.
The objective of this competition is to recognize national and international academic research about government, victimization, public security and justice, among others.
The Center of Excellence received 90 theses of Undergraduate, Masters and Doctorate. The thesis received were pre-selected by personnel of the Center of Excellence and then forwarded for the consideration of the Evaluation Committees of each category of the competition. The Evaluation Committees were integrated by personnel from UNODC Vienna, UNODC Mexico, INEGI and the academia.
The winning theses of the competition were:
Masters: “Does Social Assistance diminish crime? The differences between robbery and crimes against property analyzed from a panel approach for the Argentinian case 2008-2011” by María Lucía Freira Polleri from the University Torcuato Di Tella.
The Center of Excellence congratulates the winners of this competition and awaits them in the prize awarding ceremony that will be held on Friday January 20th during the Second International Conference on Governance, Crime and Justice Statistics 2014.
April 10, 2014 (Vienna / London / Mexico ). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its latest Global Homicide Report, which reveals that in 2012, 437,000 people were killed, representing an estimated rate of 6.2 per 100, 000 inhabitants. Globally, about 80 percent of homicide victims and 95 percent of perpetrators are men. Nearly 15 percent of all homicides resulted from domestic violence ( 63,600 ). However, the vast majority - nearly 70 percent - of those killed by domestic violence are women ( 43,600 ).
For the first time the Global Homicide Report analyzes this phenomena from different scopes such as the gender gap, its causes and the analysis of criminal justice systems around this crime. In addition, the study makes a comprehensive analysis of homicide in each continent determining that 36% of 2012 homicides occurred in the Americas. Homicide can be considered as the most violent crime and the one that impacts the most in our societies. Executive Summaty in spanish Complete report in english
Towards the standardization of victimization surveys in the region.
The Center of Excellence in Statistical information on government, crime, victimization and justice (CoE) participated in the coordination of the Workshop on Victimization Surveys: Building a common methodology for Latin America and the Caribbean which took place on 18-20 May 2014 in Cali, Colombia.
This workshop, organized jointly by the Cisalva Institute and the CoE, hosted the first meeting of the Working Group for the development of a common methodology aimed at conducting Victimization Surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This Working Group is comprised of members of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Cisalva Institute and the CoE, as well as from government institutions in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
The event was also attended by representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and the Observatory of Central American Integration System (OBSICA).
After three days of intense debates important agreements were reached regarding the approval of a common questionnaire and some methodological guidelines to be considered during the pilot tests taking place in some countries of the region very soon.
Crime statistics at the Statistical Commission of the United Nations.
Three meetings related to Crime Statistics were conducted during the 45th session of the UN Statistical Commission held from 4 to 7 March 2014:
• The first one to report on the progress in implementing the roadmap for improving crime statistics at national and international level that had Angela Me, Chief, Research and Analysis Unit of UNODC, Henk -Jan Brinkman from the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and Mario Palma , Vice President of the Board of Governors of INEGI, They shared and discussed challenges related to the measurement of the Rule of Law using administrative records and victimization surveys
• The second meeting focused on the possibilities of developing a satellite account on crime with the participation of representatives from Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.
• The last meeting followed up the progress of the working group of statistics on public security and justice of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of ECLAC.
These meetings support the international efforts to promote the creation of statistical systems of crime and criminal justice on the basis of new methodologies and international standards, as well as the improvement of institutional capacities to generate and disseminate data on these matters.
Justice and violence indicators for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
On 27 – 28 January 2014, the conference entitled “Justice and violence indicators for the Post-2015 Development Agenda” took place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
The conference was jointly organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was attended by various experts coming from international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence for Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice (CoE). Likewise, other government institutions also took part, these included Ministries of Health and Interior, national statistical office and universities, along with the participation of NGO’s.
The purpose of the meeting focused on the identification of key indicators to measure issues such as safe societies by referring to the type of instruments available for its observation and measurement.
2nd. International Conference on Government, Crime and Justice Statistics.
Call for Papers
The Center of Excellence and the Scientific Committee of the 2nd International Conference on Government Crime and Justice Statistics invites students, researchers and practitioners to submit conference papers.
Preference will be given to papers that cover topics of measuring governance, development of crime and criminal justice statistical systems, measuring access to justice, measuring organized crime among others.
The deadline for the submission of the abstract is: February 14th, 2014.
Rodolfo Calderon Umaña
Universidad: FLACSO, Costa Rica
Pais de Origen: Costa Rica
Tesis: Transgresores y Globalización en Costa Rica: Un Análisis de las Causas Sociales del Delito.
Ganador de Maestría:
Luis Francisco Rodriguez Lima
Universidad: Warwick, Inglaterra
Pais de Origen: México
Tesis: Enforcement and Robbery in México: An Economic Approach.
Ganador de Licenciatura:
Ernesto Carlos Leyva Pedrosa
Universidad: ITAM, México
Pais de Origen: México
Tesis: Lavado de dinero en México, estimación de su magnitud y análisis de su combate a través de la inteligencia financiera.
The establishment of "Centers of Excellence" (CoE) fits into a new strategy of UNODC to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In the case of Mexico, the Center of Excellence for Government Statistical Information, Public Security, Victimization and Justice has been developed by UNODC and INEGI together to generate and develop statistical information on these topics. CoE is how this reinforces the Integrated Programme in Security and Justice, Government of Mexico with UNODC and the Government Subsystem, Public Security, Victimization and Justice INEGI. The final intention of UNODC and INEGI is to contribute to the development of best practices that can serve as a reference point for the creation of public policies, proven methodologies, cooperation between countries and promoting the upgrade, continuous training and expertise in the subject .
To strengthen regional and global statistical capacities to process data on government, public security, victimization and justice through the provision of tools for data collection, analysis and dissemination; personnel training; the creation of statistical knowledge; sharing of methodologies; and promotion of international standards; as well as generation of research within these fields.
Develop data collection instruments to gather information on the above-mentioned topics.
Undertake research and analysis on crime and victimization trends using statistical data.
Improve the quantity and quality of data generated through crime-related surveys.
Improve the quantity and quality of data generated by administrative records.
Disseminate knowledge and exchange data through the release of publications.
Improve the institutional frameworks of statistical processes related to the generation and analysis of crime-related data.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established in order to address issues related with drugs control, crime prevention and the fight against international terrorism from a sustainable development and human security approach.
Since its establishment in 1997, UNODC has relied mainly on voluntary contributions, particularly from national governments, in order to fund its activities.
UNODC’s primary function is to promote the ratification and implementation of different international treaties and institutional reforms as well as to direct technical cooperation projects designed to monitor, prevent and curb organized crime as well as the production, traffic and use of illegal narcotics.
Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography is an autonomous public institution responsible for the production of statistic data regarding demographic, social, environmental and economic phenomena as well as information on government, public security, victimization and justice.
INEGI regulates and coordinates Mexico’s National System of Statistical and Geographic Information. The information it produces contributes to national development as it allows public authorities and representatives of various sectors to have a better understanding of reality, and to evaluate the results of their performance as well as the efficiency of public policies.
For this reason, INEGI is also an essential pillar for those who wish to conduct academic research on issues concerning Mexico and Latin America.
Although the scope of the Center is global, its activities are mainly directed at Latin American countries.
The Center’s focal partners are regional governments, national statistics institutes and organizations focused on the production and analysis of statistics (academic, and nongovernmental)
For further information, please consult the Center’s Directory.
The existence of an efficient criminal justice system is essential for the development and consolidation of any democracy. In Latin America, however, judiciary institutions have come under strong criticism for their backwardness as well as their lack of transparency.
For this reason, the production of better data, generated through the use of international quality criteria and standardized methodologies is essential in order to conduct accurate research which enables the development of policy-relevant analyses to improve the efficiency of judiciary institutions.
This section provides information regarding judiciary and penitentiary system reforms as well as best practices in the prosecution of crime and the management of administrative records.
Lack of public security is one of the major problems in many Latin American countries. This is partly the consequence of a continuous increase in criminal activity within the region, exacerbated by the inadequacy of crime prevention and law enforcement strategies.
This section provides information related to issues such as the social prevention of crime, police reform and the development of indicators in order to measure crime trends, crime incidence, recidivism as well as the efficiency of law enforcement agencies and crime reduction strategies.
Through research in these areas the Center aims to contribute to the comprehension of Latin America’s situation regarding crime, to enhance knowledge concerning differences between crime rates and perceptions of insecurity and to provide accurate data to improve the design of efficient strategies to fight and prevent criminal behavior.
Public institutions are the main suppliers of security. For this reason, the Center of Excellence, in accordance with the principles of UNODC, considers that research and data production regarding transparency, corruption and accountability.
For this reason, researchers and policy makers must have access to accurate data and precise indicators regarding the performance of public institutions and the efficiency of public administration.
This section provides information related to the management and performance of public institutions at the local, state and federal levels.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its objective is to contribute to the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, coordinate the actions to its promotion and reinforce economic relations between the countries and other nations in the world.
What is the SCA-ECLAC?
The Statistical Conference of the Americas of the Statistical Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is a subsidiary body of the Commission that contributes to the progress of the policies and statistical activities of the countries in the region.
Working Group on Statistics of Public Security and Justice (GTSJ in Spanish)
During the VII Reunion of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA) of the Statistical Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) the creation of a working group on statistics of security and justice was created with the purpose of coordinating efforts in the generation and development of statistical information of public security and justice in the countries of the region.
• 1st. Meeting August 2013
Enrico Bisogno UNODC
Salomé Flores CDE
Diego Antoni PNUD
• Bi-annual program
Victimization in the region
Towards a common and robust methodology for conducting victimization surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean
In terms of victimization surveys and in the current world, it makes no sense to talk of national statistics, the international comparability is a must. Although many countries have national surveys, we have a regional instrument that can be applied to all countries in the region. The cornerstone of a common methodology is a common questionnaire. The development of a common questionnaire is challenging but possible. To achieve this goal, we have to produce something that is politically relevant and methodologically sound. It must be a joint effort between countries, multilateral organizations, academic institutions and national statistical institutes.
• 1st. Regional Meeting on Victimization Surveys
• Inventory of Polls
• Steering group
• Working group
• Conceptual framework
Measuring organized crime
As part of the activities of the Center of Excellence, we have developed a joint study together with TRANSCRIME to create a methodology to measure organized crime.
The objectives of this project are:
• To provide an overall picture of OC in the region through a systematic analysis of its players, activities, and the social and governmental contexts in which it emerges .
• To understand which data or information are available and which are missing in order to improve the knowledge of OC.
• To produce an applicable and transferable methodology to measure the phenomenon.
• Measuring OC WP Final Draft
The first idea of developing a uniform classification of crime occurred in 1951 when the Commission of Social Affairs of the United Nations outlined the importance of designing a standard classification of crime in a way that would allow governments to present statistical data of crime in uniform periods. For several decades, the debate on the elaboration of crime classification was inconclusive due to the difficulties in normalizing national legislation.
In 2009 a different focus was adopted with the establishment of a UN Working Group and the Economic Commission for Europe with the support of the Conference of European Statisticians. This group developed the first international framework of crime classification approved by the Conference of European Statisticians in its 60th plenary session celebrated in June 2012.
Why is necessary a statistical classification of crime?
A classification of crime for statistical purposes obeys primarily to the need for organizing and adding data on crime for descriptive and analytical ends. The advantage of a crime classification lies in having a significant hierarchical structure where data on all forms of crime can be included in categories that contain a certain degree of similarity in conceptual, analytical and normative matters.
A uniform classification of crime for statistical purposes is an important instrument for enhancing the comparability and quality of data at the national and international level.
The international community supports its creation
During the 43rd period of sessions of the UN Statistical Commission and the 21st period of sessions of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, INEGI and UNODC were tasked with the study of the viability of its development. Consequently, a test was undertaken in sixteen countries producing encouraging results which were discussed in October 2012.
In February 2013, a reunion of experts took place in order to continue reviewing the 11 categories and sub-categories proposed for the classification.
EGM 2013 Final report – 21 February 2013
In May 2014 another reunion to review the results of the latest test of the classification by more than 40 countries took place. During this meeting the content and structure of the Manual that will accompany the ICCS in its implementation were discussed.
UNODC and INEGI will present the Classification to the Un Statistical Commission and to the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice during their 2015 sessions.
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