According to the European report on drugs 2019, trends and developments, Europe has experienced far-reaching changes concerning the challenges caused by the drug world, including the appearance of more non-controlled substances.
Important changes have also been observed in the drug market and its consumption. The market is dominated by plant substances imported into Europe, and this means that Europe has been a market in which synthetic drugs and production within the continent have increased in importance.
These are some of main items stressed by the report:
- Globalisation and technical advances have reshaped strategic questions that European political leaders have to consider.
- At the moment, the number of people that require, for the first time, treatment because of cocaine use is low compared with past records, levels of parenteral consumption has fallen, and the annual number of IVH cases attributed to drug consumption via parenteral methods has gone down by about 40% over the last ten years.
- The opioid epidemic currently affecting the United States and Canada can be put down to the consumption of synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl derivatives. This is not happening in Europe for the moment, but it is a source of concern.
- There are signs that the growing availability of cocaine is generating more healthcare costs. Since 2014, the number of consumers that have begun treatment because of problems with cocaine, although this is relatively low, has increased by over 35%.
- Current data related to cocaine in Europe reveals that both the number of interventions and the quantities intervened have reached a record high. Cocaine enters Europe using different routes and means, but the increase in trafficking in large amounts to large ports, using intermodal containers is particularly noteworthy.
- The production of synthetic drugs in Europe, although this is difficult to control, seems to be growing, becoming more diversified and more innovative. Recent data shows an increase in the intervention of precursor chemical products, which is noteworthy.
- Over recent years, new kinds of cannabis have been developed due to advances in cultivation, extraction and production techniques. The types of plants established both in Europe and Morocco –where much of the cannabis resin consumed in Europe is found– have begun to be substituted by hybrid plants and several varieties that produce more potent cannabis.
- Throughout 2018, the EU warning system regarding news of new psychoactive substances received notifications of new substances once a week. A total of 55 was the figure detected in 2018, similar to that of 2017.
- In 2017, illegal drug interventions by law enforcement forces reached the figure of 1.1 million. The three countries with the highest number of interventions were Spain, the United Kingdom and France, which together amount to two thirds of the total of interventions in the European Union.
- Heroin is the opioid that is most consumed in the European drug market. Heroin enters Europe via four main routes: the Balkan route and from the south, which are the most important, and there is also a branching out of the Southern route that passes through Syria and Iraq, and the northern route.
- There has been a certain resurgence of MDMA, which is mainly produced in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Among the principal conclusions of the statistical yearbook of The National Agency for Road Safety of Argentina in 2018, is that 5,472 people died in a traffic accident. Moreover, this problem has an annual cost of over 175 thousand million pesos for the State administration.
Analysts revealed the data on 10th June, Global Road Safety Day, cited traffic accidents as the primary cause of death among people under the age of 35, and the third for the population as a whole. And deaths in traffic accidents involving people under 35 amount to 45% of the total of victims.
The figure of 5,472 deaths in 2018 due to a traffic accident is stated within a context of the temporary framework of monitoring of victims for 30 days after the accident, in accordance with global harmonisation criteria established by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Accordingly, it is known that 71.5% of deaths – 3,914 – took place at the scene of the accident or within 24 hours of the accident.
Apart from deaths in accidents, 64,816 injured casualties were recorded – 7,446 of these being serious – in a total of 81,592 accidents taking place in 2018.
However harsh such data may appear, there are analysts like Carlos Pérez of the ANSV that consider the accident numbers are steadily going down. In 2017 5,611 died while in 2016 there were 5,582 mortal casualties in traffic accidents. He feels that there is a relative but not very significant downward trend, in which “statistics are levelling out before beginning to fall with a more thorough application of appropriate public policies”.
The mortality rate is experiencing the same trend as that referring to loss of human life in accidents. The statistics that express the relationship between the numbers of deaths for each hundred thousand inhabitants from a same geographic unit continued to be balanced: in 2016 the figure was 12.8%, in 2017 it was 12.7% and in 2018 the downward trend continued to 12.3%.
In parallel, the authorities presented the conclusions of a study that related the economic costs of traffic accidents. In this respect, traffic accidents cost the Argentinian State over 175 thousand million Argentinian pesos annually, 1.7% of the Gross Domestic Product.
These data are the result of the calculation of different costs: the loss of productivity because of the person involved, medical and human costs, the property involved and administrative costs.
Another factor that most worries analysts is that mortalities involving those travelling by motorbike in 2018 amounted to 2,350. This data accounts for 43.8% of the total of victims, whereas in 2017 the figure was 38%.
To address such figures, campaigns are being reinforced to oblige motorcyclists and fellow travellers to wear helmets, as well as campaigns to promote the use of the seatbelt. However, there is a noticeable increase in the use of the seatbelt and deaths in car accidents amounted to 1,479, 27.6% of the total.
It is also noteworthy that 78% of deaths in traffic accidents involved men, in contrast with the 22% affecting women.
The National Observatory of Crime and Penal Response (ONDRP) of France has published the annual report on violence and anti-social behaviour in amateur football during the 2017-2018 period. In accordance with the study, 1.8% of the games played recorded violent and anti-social incidents.
Since 2007, the National Observatory of Crime and Penal Response has presented an annual report on violence and anti-social behaviour in amateur football. The study analyses the data provided by the French Football Federation, which records violent and anti-social incidents with a computer application (“Behaviour Observatory”).
Based on the knowledge obtained from the analysis of the data, different preventive measures are put into operation. Therefore, when there is violence during a match, it is recorded and given the “sensitive match” qualification and, for future fixtures, supplementary security measures will be employed to prevent criminal acts. Furthermore, the French Football Federation carries out different actions based on the data gathered, like the Federal Educational Programme (PEF), a set of educational files at the disposal of educators in order to draw attention to the benefits of sports, while abiding by the rules.
In accordance with the balance presented, violent or anti-social incidents have been recorded at 11,335 matches, 1.8% of the total, which represents a slight rise of 0.2% when compared with 2017-2018. This increase, however, could be related to a better precision when recording incidents rather than a rise in acts of violence.
In most cases, the most violent act was committed by a player (89%), in 5% of cases, the team’s coaches and in 3% of cases, spectators. The data is very similar when comparing teams playing at home or away, 47% of the aggressors are with the visiting team, and 46% with the local team and in 6% of cases those involved were from both teams.
Regarding the nature of the aggressions, in nearly half of the cases (49%) the most serious incident involved verbal aggression, of which 9% were threats. 45% of the violent incidents involved physical aggression. It must be stressed that during this period 9 aggressions involving weapons were recorded, amounting to less than 1% of the total. Moreover, in 76 matches, of a total of 11,335, the most serious incident was of a racist or discriminatory nature.
The Canadian federal agency responsible for defending the rights of women and ensuring the application of the Status of Women Canada law. As such, this agency promotes gender equality and the total participation of women in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. The Status of Women Canada acts in three areas: the improvement in economic autonomy and wellbeing of women, the elimination of systematic violence against women and children and advances in women’s rights.
With this purpose, it develops and directs gender studies, promotes their application in the sphere of federal government, and sponsors research that provides a gender dimension to programme and policy agendas.
This is the case of the education information programme that the Canadian Agency of Women is putting into operation involving school practices that favour programmes for healthy relationships and the prevention of partner violence in the country’s schools. Among the specific objective concerning inclusivity, as well as the vision through gender lenses promoted by this educational programme for the country’s younger population, mainly focused on primary and secondary schools, there are the following:
- Programmes include mixed audiences and different communities and may require specific focuses.
- Similarly, programmes that include students with special needs, for example, meaning that the material is accessible to students with sight or hearing impairments, guarantee that all students meet all the objectives set by the programme.
- Programmes that use the LGBTQ and alternative gender language, and propose scenarios or role-plays that demonstrate the different factors involved in violence in LGBTQ relationships, also guarantee that all students can identify with the programme and, therefore, also meet the objectives of the results.
- Programmes that have separate components for girls and boys and offer the opportunity to regroup and debate what is important for boys and girls are the most successful.
- Similarly, programmes that have co-facilitators who are both male and female are better received by the young, as they feel better represented and have more possibilities to express themselves.
- Although separated-by-gender programmes may be useful, a gender analysis is important in all programmes, especially with regard to the underlying causes of gender inequality, in order to address the fact that women are more likely to be mistreated, the concept of consent and the benefits of healthy and equal relationships.
- LGBTQ students also either have to be represented, with the gender identity of facilitators or with the language and materials used, the scenarios addressed, etc.
These are the desired intrinsic objectives to be incorporated in curricular programmes in schools in Canada, promoting forums for reflection for boys and girls, as well as generating an atmosphere of integration and normalisation of social stereotypes that are now obsolete, in order to try to create a bright future for the country’s future generations with the creation of a support network during childhood.
The German Federal Criminal Police Office–the BKA– has also created a contact office, which has sent almost 6,000 reports since it was created and is in close collaboration with Europol regarding “the contraband of crime”.
The BKA has opened a registration office to eliminate internet content. The German National Unit of Internet Reference has been in operation since October 2018. Since then, the BKA has already sent 5,895 reports with suspicious criminal content to Internet companies.
With the new department, the German government precedes the UE regulation aimed at preventing the spreading of online terrorist content. The legislative proposal was presented by the UE Commission in September 2018. The objective is to adopt the regulation as soon as possible after the election of the new EU parliament.
A central component of the regulation put forward is the very brief term in which Internet companies have to remove content. Furthermore, the Commission demands filters of supplies of already known “terrorist” material, as well as “proactive measures” of the operators to detect this content independently in advance.
The German National Unit of Internet Reference is part of a European network in which each member of the EU has to design a point of contact in accordance with the Regulation. Europol, which has also administered this office in The Hague since 2015, acts as the central headquarters. Since its foundation four years ago, the Europol Unit of Internet Reference has sent 96,166 reports to Internet companies. In 84% of cases, the content or the accounts were disconnected afterwards.
Europol stores all the links, whether they are eliminated or not, in a separate file called “Internet References Management application ” (IRMa). With this application, the police want to detect which batches have been sent to suppliers of Internet services for their elimination, so that a second report is no longer necessary for another authority. The BKA has also been connected to IRMa since 1st January. The audio, video and text files that they have to remove are stored in a separate file “Check the Web” for further investigation.
The Crime Victimization Survey (ENUSC), presented by the President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, records a 2.6% drop in crime – meaning that roughly 130,000 homes had a year without one of the residents being a victim of a crime.
The survey is one of the most highly rated in the country by experts in security issues, as over 27,000 households in urban areas take part in the survey according to the data sheet, this would represent 13 million people in 5 million households. It was carried out between September and December 2018 with people over 15.
In accordance with the results of the ENUSC 2018, carried out by the CEAD – Centre of Studies and Analysis of Crime- and as a measure of crime rates all over the country, in 25.4% of households, at least one member was victim of a crime. This crime percentage in 2018 is the lowest in the series: in 2012, the percentage was 24.3%, in 2013, it was 22.8% and in 2014, it was 23.5%.
One of the aspects that has been most stressed by representatives of the survey is that the perception of insecurity continues to fall for another year. The idea that crime had increased reached its peak in 2015 with 86.8% of those interviewed expressing this view. This figure dropped in 2016 and 2017, and the survey now shows another decrease to 76.8% of those interviewed.
Regarding the percentage of people interviewed who stated that they had reported a crime if they had been a victim, these amounted to 35.1%, a lower figure than previous years. This figure has been going down since 2015 when it reached 43.5% of those interviewed having reported a crime.
Furthermore, in 2018, 6.6% of households in the country were re-victimized, meaning that a person was a victim a second time or more of a serious crime.
The insignificance of the crime, the possible loss of time or the lack of trust in the police and the judicial system are among the causes for not reporting a crime.
Regarding the typology of crimes, the survey compares the results of 2017 and 2018 and figures related to almost all types of crime go down. When asked if you or any member of your household was victim of a crime such as a theft with violence and/or intimidation, 4.6 answer affirmatively whereas in 2017 the percentage was 5.1%. Similar figures answer positively in the case of household robbery with the use of force and go down from 5.1% to 4.8% in 2018. But the most noteworthy drop is that involving the theft of objects from vehicles which goes down from 14.2% in 2017 to 11.6% in 2018.
The ENUSC also assessed what source of information people used to be informed about the criminal world. Over half of those interviewed – 50.2% – used the television, 13.8% referred to other people and 12.5% because they had experienced crime themselves.
As far as anti-social behaviour is concerned, most typologies have gone down as a percentage since 2017 and the presence of abandoned dogs, street vending and the existence of graffiti on walls are stressed. While other noteworthy typologies remain stable in comparison with the previous year like alcohol and drug consumption in public places, the accumulation of litter and rubbish, people sleeping in the street, and unauthorised sale of alcohol and prostitution.
After a continual fall over seven years regarding homicides, in 2018 there was a setback for murder prevention policies, according to Ministry of Defence figures and from the foundation Ideas for Peace (FIP).
According to a report published by the Ministry of Defence, in 2018 a total of 12,311 people were murdered in Colombia. This means about 500 homicides more than in 2017 when 11,831 people were murdered, about 4% more.
Of the total, 3,780 (30.34%) took place in a rural environment and the rest, 8,678 (69.66%) in urban areas.
The most worrying aspect is that according to official data, only 189 people were arrested and deprived of freedom as authors of a homicide and another 102 were taken to court for having connections with a murder.
To address this increase in homicides, authorities suggest an increase in pressure and control in 4 or 5 municipalities of the Bajo Cauca, Tumaco and “la Comuna 13” of Medellín. But this strategy of focusing on critical areas contrasts with the report of the FIP which states that although giving priority to some territories is important, other territories cannot be overlooked as they may become areas with a high homicide rate.
Moreover, on the part of the FIP it is considered that the increase in homicides responds to several causes and modalities: the incidence of homicides involving knives, the increase in violent deaths of adults, and the existence of 24 municipalities where only women have died violently, implies a differential response in order to control such a phenomenon.
On the part of another association, the Development and Peace Programmes Network (Prodepaz), the consultant Luis Eduardo Celis believes that the departure of the ex-guerrillas from the FARC from the armed conflict avoided between 500 and 800 homicides a year. But in 2018 multiple causes cropped up:
- The continuation of the conflict and the illegal incomes dispute, as well as the lack of a rule of law that works all over the territory. There are 150 critical municipalities and zones where the conflict is more intense.
- The partition of land that affects social leaders and public policies to deal with issues related to conflict and insecurity on the part of the region generated the increase in homicide in Colombia.
- The lack of public tolerance in order to manage conflict, added to social leaders that supported a peace process that has not achieved the expected results neither in terms of cultivation nor in terms of land restitution.
- The lack of academic and professional opportunities for the young continues to make the population vulnerable to be drawn into mafias and illegal armed groups.
The Ministry stresses that it is necessary to make steady advances in equity policies, that there are many urban conflicts where security and peace strategies have to focus on each region in order to distinguish its current situation, and finally actions involving peace and coexistence strategies are required.
As Eduardo Celis sees it, in Colombia, there is very strong culture of indifference because of the long-term armed conflict and this has generated a culture-based complicity.
Links of interest
At the end of March this year, Europol hosted a joint meeting of the advisory groups of The European Cyber Crime Centre-EC3- about financial services, Internet and communications security suppliers, where they met with representatives of the industry to discuss the cybernetic threat posed by phishing.
Phishing is a persistent cyber criminal threat to data protection, used by everyone, from basic criminals to very sophisticated competitors.
Over the two days, global financial institutions, internet security companies and telecommunications suppliers shared information about the phishing that affects their respective industries and what can be done together with law enforcement agencies to combat this type of cyber crime.
The meetings also relied on basic observations related to phishing and automatic learning and an email service for companies, as well as group debates about possible solutions to this problem. Focusing on operative, technical, awareness-raising solutions, operatives to mitigate phishing, police agents and experts from the industry presented a series of recommendations and conclusions related to what can be done collectively:
- Improve information exchange between industries, as well as with law enforcement agencies and other organisations from the pertinent public sector.
• Implement basic concepts of secure authentication, a black list of domains and a blockade of common exploitations.
• Train and educate users permanently and not as a sole force.
• Adopt innovation such as automatic learning to automatically detect phishing emails.
• Regularly review anti-phishing measures to stay up-to-date with criminals that are constantly evolving.
This transversal Europol forum is a unique meeting of assessment groups of security, banking and Internet infrastructures aiming to improve awareness and share the best cyber security practices.
EC3 established the Advisory Groups for Financial Services, Internet Security and Communications Suppliers to encourage trust and cooperation between the main industries of the private sector and police authorities in their joint fight against cyber criminals.