The greater complexity of the terrorist threat in 2018

The terrorist phenomenon continued to represent an important security threat for the European Union in 2018. This is what is explained in the latest report published by Europol – Europol’s 2019 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) –which considers that the level of the terrorist threat has become more complex rather than decreasing.

In the sum of the terrorist attacks, thirteen people died and dozens were injured. With these figures and compared with 2017, the number of attacks and victims fell significantly with the number of terrorist groups being investigated and detained in the EU increasing.

The report on trends in the EU related to the situation and evolution of terrorism in 2018, is a document required by the European Parliament that offers a concise vision of the nature of the terrorist threat facing the EU.

Among the main trends stressed by the document are the following:

–       All terrorist attacks were of a Jihadist nature, committed by lone individuals and against the civil population.

–       The mental health problems of some perpetrators contributed to the complexity of the phenomenon. Jihadist attacks were carried out using firearms or non-sophisticated weapons that were easily accessible like knives.

–       The level of the terrorist threat throughout the EU continues to be high due to, among other factors, the significant number of attacks that were thwarted, and the 16 Jihadist terrorist groups arrested.

–       Three terrorist groups intercepted by the police in 2018 included the attempt to produce and/or use chemical and biological explosives and materials. An increase in the use of pyrotechnic mixes to produce explosive devices was also detected.

–       A general increase in propaganda and CBRN terrorist threats.

–       While minors are essentially victims, there is concern in member states of the EU as to whether they have been exposed to indoctrination and training and, therefore, have become a potential threat.

–       There is a concern as to why people with a criminal or prison record are vulnerable to indoctrination and can participate in terrorist activities.

–       The member states of the EU thinks that it is likely that the reduction in the territorial control of Islamic State will be substituted by an increase in Al Qaida efforts to recover power and influence.

–       While online propaganda remained technologically advanced and software pirates seem to have knowledge of encoded communication tools, the capacities and techniques of cyber-attacks from the groups were rudimentary.

–       In 2018, there was no terrorist group that displayed a capacity to carry out effective cyber-attacks.

–       The report also offers a general vision of the terrorist situation outside the EU, including conflict areas Like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français


Hot spots of organised crime in the west of the Balkans

A report published in May 2019 by The Global initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, a civil observatory to combat organised crime in south east Europe[1], offers a fairly comprehensive analysis of the reality of organised crime in the west of the Balkans and tries to detect its clusters or hot spots.

The report draws from the premise that there are three fundamental factors that favour this type of crime:

  1. Economic vulnerability. Very high in this area, with groups of the population with an unemployment rate of over 50%.
  2. Weak or fractionated and closed off political systems. The succession of serious and violent conflicts that took place in that region meant that the institutional network created with international support (imposition in some cases) does not have the necessary strength or authority to guarantee acceptable levels of rule of law. Moreover, the range of institutional organigrams do not relate to each other appropriately (nor collaborate). Clear examples are the police forces of the republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian-Kosovar institutions and the Albano Kosovar ones and more clearly the institutions of Serbia with the Kosovar ones. This means that there are no solid consolidated powers in large territorial areas. This factor and the previous one facilitate links between businesses, crime and political power.
  3. Geographic location. This location must be understood in two ways:
    • With regard to road and communication structures. Cities located on crossings of motorways or important roads, and railway junctions, allow for more fluid and easy circulation of the products that are the object of organised crime activity.
    • With regard to the proximity to or distance from areas with the products that are traditionally an objective for International crime activities. In this case, the region is on the heroin route between Afghanistan and Western Europe, and is a good point of entry for those who are fleeing from misery and war in Africa and the Middle East and for the weapons that these conflicts serve to market.

Drawing on these factors, the report not only goes on to place cities and regions that are highly likely to become hot spots of organised crime, but also those that have also been shown to be hot spots in practice.

The specific places identified by the report are, among others:

  • Subotica (Serbia): drug and tobacco trafficking (before the construction of the wall by Hungary, people trafficking).
  • Vrsac (Serbia): tobacco and heroin trafficking.
  • Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzegovina). Trafficking of people, livestock, wood, drugs, cars, money and clothes with false labels.
  • The Trebinje region (Bosnia-Herzegovina). Trafficking of drugs, tobacco and people.
  • Rozaje and surroundings (Montenegro). Drugs, people, tobacco, medicine and weapons.
  • Kulla/Kula (between Kosovo and Montenegro). Trafficking of tobacco and drugs.
  • Durrës (Albania). It is the country’s biggest port and the main gateway for goods arriving from Latin America. For this reason, it has a relevant role in importin cocaine from Colombia.
  • Vlorë (Albania) the country’s second port, a point of departure for cannabis produced nationally and of many criminals that head for Italy and Spain.
  • The ports of Bar, Budva and Kotor (Montenegro). These ports are famous for importing cocaine, and, for example, tobacco smuggling although it is also produced there. There has recently been a war to death between gangs of drug traffickers, with many casualties.
  • Sarajevo and the neighbouring region (Bosnia-Herzegovina). High rates of theft and vehicle trafficking. Manifest inefficiency on the part of the police to detain the criminals involved.
  • Prístina (Kosovo). Drug trafficking and organised falsification of public title deeds.
  • Skopje (Macedonia). Crucial focal point for drug trafficking both for the north-south and east-west.

The report concludes by stating that this region is victim of its own demographic location as well as economic and political instability. The authors of the report, however, seem to detect a certain tiredness of corruption and organised crime among the population as it has caused somewhat violent public protests.

[1] Vid.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français


School bullying: the first step towards anti-social adult conduct

At the beginning of 2019 the study Bullying, an open door to ant-social adult conduct by Pedro García Sanmartín was published. This study considers that the deficit in social values and a deficient education among children have become risk factors underlying the school bullying phenomenon. This conduct would involve an open door to anti-social conduct among adolescents and adults.

Unfortunately, the study considers that an increase in the number of cases of bullying or cyberbullying is taking place, involving both boys and girls at younger and younger ages with disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicide. Moreover, other associated problems are detected at school like dropping out of school and low marks, etc. As well as other anti-social conduct like the consumption of alcohol and drugs at an early age, vandalism and theft.

The study also focuses on the times we are living in and considers that both the procrastination and the desire to obtain information related to anything immediately without bearing in mind the consequences this could have in the future, is resulting in children not having the necessary social skills to address problems that will crop up in the future.

One of the most important effects of childhood experiences, which lasts through to maturity and affects personal development, is the Pygmalion effect, meaning discrediting remarks and labels acquired during childhood, leaving a mark on one’s personality, and in some cases leading to low self-esteem, insecurity and other cognitive disorders.

The author considers that school bullying is a multi-faceted problem, but it is a phenomenon that everyone, to varying degrees, has helped to cause and, therefore, society as a whole must make a commitment to eliminate. Especially given the fact that it is often the step prior to future deviant behaviour.

The causes of bullying are also multifactorial. The lack of normalised skills and values means that these children seek refuge in anti-social conduct, which they consider to be justified, being reinforced by witnesses, who to some point also have a deficit regarding some essential social values, as well as a lack of security.

The report includes the following among its conclusions:

  • The need to call for a change in the educational system, improving the provision of resources and tools for education-related services as well as care services.
  • It stresses the importance of education that both teachers, and mothers and fathers, assume the responsibility of helping children to discover, bring out and exhibit hidden faculties so that they can achieve security, self-esteem, self-awareness, and be able to address problems that crop up in the future.
  • The author stresses that old inter-generational educational habits that do not help with the current development of boys and girls must change. As we live in a complex world, values such as tolerance, respect, equality, justice and solidarity must be addressed.

In Catalonia, according to the results of the School Violence Survey in 2016, about 40% of pupils were victims of an act of mistreatment on the part of peers. Of these, 24% suffered more than one incident that year and 10.4% suffered bullying, meaning that they suffered negative actions once or twice a week.

Of all the victims of bullying, 40% were cases of cyberbullying, with the percentage of female victims being higher than male victims (25.4% as opposed to 15%).


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français


The drug situation in Europe in 2019

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.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

44% of the deaths in traffic accidents in Argentina in 2018 were motorcyclists

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.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

Report on violence and anti-social behaviour in amateur football in France

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.

Les violences et les incivilités dans le football amateur – saison 2107-2018


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

ENUSC 2018: after six years, a drop in crime in Chile

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.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

Germany: The crime rate continues to fall but insecurity is on the increase

Reichstag BerlinPolice statistics[1] and a crime survey have more or less simultaneously been published at a federal level[2]. It is noteworthy that while there has been a 3.6% decrease in crime (350,000 fewer than the previous year), people who feel either a little or very insecure has risen from 17.3% in 2012 (the previous year’s federal crime survey) to 21.5%. The temporal difference between the two previous data does not explain these differences, as crime has been falling moderately but constantly over recent years (since 2012 the number has gone down by half a million cases). Possibly one of the factors that underlie this decrease in subjective security is related to the presence of terrorism (which makes 20% of the population feel insecure) that did not appear in the previous review in 2012. This increase in insecurity is reflected in a similar way in the vast majority of Länder.

The areas that most affect the feeling of security of those interviewed are burglaries (24% are afraid of suffering this crime), theft with violence (20.9%) and sexual violence (22.2 % of women).

Crimes against people see a decrease of 3.9%. Although homicide and its variants see an increase of roughly 4 % and crimes involving bodily harm show a very slight increase, the more significant reduction in crimes against sexual freedom more than compensates (a fall of over 10%). What is known as “street crime” (Straβenkriminalitat), which consists of the largest group of crimes sees of a decrease of 8%. Economic crime in general (theft in general, of bicycles, vehicles and trucks, motorbikes). Even the most feared burglaries see a fall of 16.3 %, thanks to the range of methodologies used to prevent them (including Predictive Policing). Even swindling and fraud have gone down slightly.

The rate of reporting crime is between 35 and 40%, with the exception of cases of Phishing and Pharming that reflect much lower levels of crimes being reported (approximately 10%). Among the reasons given for reporting a crime are, first of all, an obligation (moral) to report any crime, and a wish for an incident not to happen again or for the culprit to be punished.

The number of people arrested has gone down by 2.9 in comparison with the previous year (2,051,266 in 2017), of which 65.46 % have German nationality, and 34.53 % are foreigners.

[1] Vid.

[2] Vid.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

How do we know how many children are part of gangs in England?

Gangland activity in England often happens under the radar of the authorities, although defining what we understand to be a gang is not simple.

A report estimates that there are currently 27,000 children of both sexes that are part of gangs in England.

But how was such a figure reached?

Every year, the UK National Statistics Office carries out a crime survey by elaborating a representative sample of homes and their experience of the crime scene. Over the last three years, children between the ages of 10 to 15 have been asked if they regarded themselves to be members of a street gang.

The commissioner’s office for children in England made its own calculations with these figures.

Last year, a sample of some 4,000 children, 0.7% (about 30 children) said that they considered themselves to be members of street gangs. This figure was expanded to give an estimated figure of 27,000 all over England last year.

This is an estimate, but the report offers a much lower figure of 6,560 children properly known by teams that deal with child services, for participating in gangs.

The report concludes that the difference between the highest figure and the lowest is that most gang members are known to the authorities.

There is a lack of knowledge at the moment, but there is likely to be a high number of young people who participate in gangs that are unknown to the authorities, although there may be as many as 27,000 children who are involved in gangs.

As these figures come from a custom-made analysis, there is no comparable individual data with gang violence and criminal activities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But in London, the Metropolitan Police keeps a database known as the Gangs Matrix, which contains names of between 3,000 and 4,000 “persons of interest”.
The database has been criticised because of its disproportionate orientation towards young blacks that may have links with violent crime.
In 2017, when the latest time crime estimations were published, one of every 500 violent crimes recorded by the London police force was identified as being related to gangs. Since 2010, 15% of homicides in the capital have been related to gangs.

There has also been an increase in concern about children of both sexes that are exploited by drug gangs.

Bearing in mind the illegal nature of operations in the field of narcotics, the total participation is difficult to know, but most references received by the National Crime Agency affect minors of between 15 and 17 years of age.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français

RAND Europe is studying violence and riots at international sports events

Anti-social behaviour at football matches is a well-known problem everywhere. The police, football associations and governments have used many interventions and strategies aimed at anticipating and responding to such problematic behaviour. Regarding two international sports events in Qatar: the 2019 World Athletics Championship and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the University of Qatar commissioned a report from RAND Europe about violence and disturbances at international sports events.

The objective of the study was to understand the nature and factors associated with antisocial and violent behaviour at football matches and examine the effectiveness of existing approaches to anticipate and respond to such behaviour.

Football supportersThe influence of alcohol, sports rivalries, spatial factors, socio-political factors, psychological factors, situational factors and reactions to the game are factors that lead to violent and antisocial behaviour. However, these factors usually interact and there is never only one factor involved.

Police approaches aimed at establishing dialogue and positive lines of communication with fans seem to be promising. Some studies found that policing methods that tried to maintain a rapport of mutual respect between fans and the police were effective. Nevertheless, the tests presented in the case study of violence at the EUFA European Championship in 2016 suggest that police forces also need a series of tactics, require sufficient resources and need to be prepared to increase the response to the situation if so requires.

The Crowd Behaviour Model (CBM) can capture complex cultural, individual and environmental differences in the way people move in an area to be able to predict how crowds behave. CBM is more effective when it is collaborative and interactive among experts that define a model, the customer and the pertinent parts, such as stadium security officials.

A case study of the role of volunteers at major sports events found that volunteers play an important role in maintaining public security by supporting the spectator’s positive behaviour during important sports events.

Although there is no one factor alone that causes crowd disturbances in the world of football, evidence suggests that some interventions may be effective to anticipate and respond to violent and antisocial behaviour. This means that host nations should be able to take practical measures to minimise the possibility of disturbances during a tournament. Investigations suggest that disruptive behaviour increases with out-of-proportion or inconsistent security and surveillance tactics, queues and delays when at the entrance to stadiums, hinder the movement of fans.

There is a range of promising practices that event organisers can consider. Regarding surveillance tactics, experience shows that low-intensity policing is associated with more peaceful crowds. These approaches are based on the creation of relations with fans and the sharing of intelligence and cooperation between police agencies from different countries, both before and during the event.


Aquest apunt en català / Esta entrada en español / Post en français