Crime Victimisation Survey of Catalonia: 10 observations

In November and December 2020 the fieldwork was carried out for the Crime Victimisation Survey of Catalonia (POSC) corresponding to the year in question. On the basis of a sample broken down into nine geographical areas (i.e., the nine police regions) and establishing representative quotas in terms of age and gender, a total of 7,900 interviews were conducted with Catalonians aged 16 or over.  A summary of the main indicators and conclusions is presented below.

  1. There is a slight increase in the percentage of persons who have suffered at least one incident involving a criminal offence (+1.8). This rate of victimisation falls (-3.6) if we remove deception, fraud and confidence tricks.
  2. With respect to previous years there is a slight reduction in the coefficient of multi-victimisation, i.e., the average number of incidents undergone by each victim (1.7 in 2017 compared with 1.5 in 2020).
  3. Barcelona is the police region with the highest rate of victimisation (34.1%), followed by the Camp de Tarragona (27.7%), the Metropolitan North region (27.5%) and Girona (26.9%). The police regions that have undergone the largest increases are the Camp de Tarragona (+4.2), Girona (+3.9), the Central Districts (+3.1) and the Metropolitan North region (+3). The police regions that have experienced the biggest fall in victimisation are the Terres de l’Ebre (-2.8) and Ponent (-2.6).
  4. The breakdown of criminal victimisation by category highlights a significant increase in deception, fraud and confidence tricks (+6.1). 13.8% of the persons participating in the survey had undergone at least one incident of deception, fraud or confidence trickery. Other categories have remained stable or have fallen, such as petty crime, property theft, mugging or vehicle theft, probably due to the effects of the periods of lockdown on the situations concerned.
  5. 32.5% of the incidents registered were cases of deception, fraud or confidence trickery, corresponding to 14.6 percentage points more than in 2017. Vehicle crime fell by 4 percentage points to a total of 25.1%.
  6. 66.3% of the incidents of deception, fraud and confidence trickery were committed online, 14.1% in face-to-face encounters and 12.9% by telephone.
  7. Victimisation was experienced equally by men and women (27.9% and 27.3% respectively); slightly more women experienced victimisation in younger age groups (those aged from 16 to 25 and from 26 to 40) and slightly more men in older groups (those aged from 41 to 64 and those over 65).
  8. The rate of reported crimes falls by 4.6 points. 26% of incidents considered as criminal offences were reported to the police or to the courts. Categories related to second homes and to main residences showed the highest rates of crime reporting (52.1% and 46% respectively), while deception, fraud and confidence trickery saw the lowest rate (16.8%).
  9. The evaluation of levels of security within municipalities attained an average level of 6.8 out of 10, representing a slight fall compared with 7.2 in 2017. Men and women registered very similar average levels. Nevertheless, when we asked the persons taking part in the survey whether they had changed their habits out of fear of falling victim to crime, there were about 32% of affirmative replies, of which 42.2% were women and 21.3% were men.
  10. The evaluation of the Catalan police forces (i.e., the Mossos d’Esquadra and the municipal police forces) returned to 2015 values after results in 2017 that were heavily conditioned by the terrorist attacks of 17th August and the events relating to the Catalan referendum of 1st October. The Mossos d’Esquadra and the municipal police forces were given a rating of 7.3 and 6.9 out of 10 respectively.

The results of the survey can be viewed at this link: Crime Victimisation Survey of Catalonia 2020.


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