Europe has always been considered safe for tourists. And yes, compared to other destinations, there are really favorable conditions for travel and the crime rate is low. However, in recent years, the theft rate has increased significantly in five countries, Dip.org.ua reports with reference to Traveloffpath.com.
Eurostat, the agency responsible for European statistics, has released the official theft rates for the period 2019-2020. While the current data does not yet cover 2021 and 2022, it does show where the crime surge was concentrated before COVID hit the world.
Before the pandemic, the number of “serious attacks and crimes” in the EU was steadily rising, with an average of 40.8 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants between 2019 and 2020.
Thus, five Western countries suffer from higher levels of thefts reported by the police:
Belgium – 102.2 / 100,000;
Spain – 95.6 / 100,000;
Portugal – 87.2/100,000;
Sweden – 83.3/100,000;
Luxembourg – 75.4 / 100,000.
Thus, pickpocketing remains a widespread problem in the major cities of these countries.
On a positive note, data for the EU/EFTA countries, which are closely linked and form a single market, as well as for EU candidates such as Albania and Ukraine, in the Eurostat report show a downward trend in criminal acts: the number of reports of burglaries in urban centers fell by 19% and burglaries by 13%.