Crime in the changing Greek Society. Reflections on statistical data.


Crime is a complex phenomenon. Statistics related to crime in a given milieu reveal nothing in substance and they are not amenable to comparisons. For one thing they are classified differently in different countries. For another, statistics are related to processes that are the outcome of all the interrelated variables which operate in the given milieu. It is within the context of the transaction of these variables: cultural, social, economic, technological, psychological, and biological, that these statistics may become meaningful and may lead to valuable interpretations. In Greece, for instance, during the last ten years, crime has decreased. (In 1960, there were 82,649 convictions and in 1970 there were 72,393. The population, seven years of age and above, increased from 7,289,130 in 1960 to 7,796,850 in 1970. Moreover the number of recidivists for the same years increased only from 28,988 to 31,540.) And yet, from impressionistic observations one notices that violence has increased significantly. The modus operandi of the criminals as well as the motives that instigate criminal behavior have changed. Those changes are alarming. Crime statistics, although they present a picture of decrease in crime rate, do not help us to focus on the real problem and search for measures of prevention and control.

Cite this paper

@article{Spinellis1975CrimeIT, title={Crime in the changing Greek Society. Reflections on statistical data.}, author={C D Spinellis}, journal={Mental health and society}, year={1975}, volume={2 3-6}, pages={189-95} }