2009 | 31 | 223-264
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Polish Crime Study (PBP) carried out between 2007 and 2009 was a joint project of the Police Headquarters and the Institute for Justice. The particular aim of the project, which was carried out in all 16 voivodships of Poland and in the police area of the of the Capital District, was to estimate the level of crime increase and its dark figures, evaluation of police work, and measure of fear of crime - both across the country and in each province. The research was carried out each year in the first half of January of on a random sample of 17 thousand respondents (3 thousands in each province and 3 thousand in the the Warsaw Police Headquarters area) by traditional face to face interview method. Analyzed results include 51 thousand respondents who were surveyed in 2007 - 2009. For the entire sample constructed in this way the measurement error is minimal and is in fact only 0.4% in general and 1.8% for the particular local area tests. It should be emphasised that PBP is the largest victimological study in Poland (surveys of the Institute of Justice in the previous rounds of the ICVS did not usually exceed 5 thousand respondents) and, at the same time, one of the major social surveys in our country.. The questionnaire of Polskie Badanie Przestępczości included questions related to the victimization with the following acts: robbery, assault, burglary, car theft, other theft (pickpocket, mobile phone theft, bicycle theft). The study also included a question concerning the reporting level of abovementioned acts. Much attention was paid to the perception of the police and fear of the crime in the measurement tool (such items were generally modeled on the Polish version of the ICVS questionnaire). The study included a total of 12 positions and 10 measurable questions. Positions related to offenses and their applications were relatively complex and de facto consisted of several questions. PBP results indicate that the intensification of a crime in Poland is still quite considerable. Nearly every fifth inhabitant of our country was a victim of one of the offenses taken into consideration during the analyzed period, almost every eighteenth was a victim of a burglary. Also other thefts (nearly 1,900 cases per 51 thousand respondents), and robberies (nearly 1,500 cases per 51 thousand resondents) happen quite often. The largest (tenfold) diversity in regional reviev concerns the risk of a car theft, white the smallest (2,5 fold) diversity concerns robberies and other theft. Relatively large, (fivefold) differences have also been reported in case of battery. It should be noted that differences in the frequency of the offences taken into consideration voivodship-wise is comparable or even greater than in the individual EU countries taking part in the final round of the ICVS, which is certainly quite a surprise. Differences in average coefficients of the reporting of individual acts are relatively small and approximately half of the committed crimes are reported. The only exception concerns the car theft, in this case the average reportability is about 86% and actually cannot be compared with reportability of other acts. Average reportability of all the acts do not significantly differ, batteries are reported seldom (45%), and thefts are reported rather very rarely (39%), and in this cases the average underestimation of police statistics is particularly high. Differentiation in the reportability of crimes taken into consideration in different regions is also surprisingly high – more than double in the case of batteries and theft from (not: of) cars. The relatively smallest are differences in the reportability of burglaries, robberies and other thefts – they are nearly double. PBP results clearly shows that police ratings are very high: 70% of respondents believe that the police fights against crime very effectively. Police work is evaluated slightly better in the south-east part of the country, and a bit worse in the north-west part, although the differences are small. The study revealed the existence of this relatively strong negative correlation between the assessment of police work and crime: in voivodships with high crime rate police ratings are low. Crime fear is still on quite high level: every fourth respondent did not feel safe during an evening walk. Behavior of almost 30% respondents is characterized by "carefulness", that is avoiding certain streets, places or people because of safety concerns. Every fourth respondent considers burglary as probable. It should be emphasised that crime fear in Poland is strongly related with a real threat. It is highest in voivodhips with highest crime rates. Hovewer, crime fear is also correlated with the police work assessment. The worse the assesment, the greater is the sense of fear. The most common problem reported in the neighbourhood were reckles drivers: road pirates are the biggest nuisance for nearly 40% of respondents. The other problems in the place of residence reported by approximately by every fourth respondent (within 19-22%) were vandalism, harassment by aggressive young people, robbery, burglary, aggression of drunken or intoxicated persons, and batteries. Macro-social variables explain very well the regional distribution of crime. Both stepwise regression and factor analysis allowed to explain nearly 90% of the variance of the dependent variable “crime”, with most of the role played by independent variables related to the “rural-urban” dimension (primarily urban population, religion, divorce, wealth, also strongly correlated with the level of urbanization). It is worth noting that neither unemployment nor the abuse of alcohol and drugs were significantly correlated with crime. Rate of suicides in the region showed no connection with the dependant variable.
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  • Instytut Wymiaru Sprawiedliwości, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 25, 00-071 Warszawa, Poland,
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