The crime rate in Estonia continues to show a sharp decline which however can be partly attributed to Penal Code changes that stepped into effect at the beginning of the year.
In the first five months of the year a total of 13,252 criminal offenses were registered, 2,879 fewer than the year before, which makes a year-on-year drop of 18 percent. At the same time the number of thefts and frauds fell even more sharply, by 31 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Registered thefts numbered 4,594 and frauds 614, respectively 2,019 and 412 fewer than during the same period last year.
The head of the analysis unit at the Justice Ministry, Jako Salla, explained that the review of the Penal Code affected mainly the number of criminal offenses against property such as theft and fraud primarily because the criminal limit was raised from 64 to 200 euros.
Robberies numbered 157 in the five months, four less than a year earlier. The number of traffic offenses on the other hand soared 21 percent, from 1,298 to 1,570. This too was connected with the amendment of the Penal Code, Salla said.
There was little change in the number of cases of physical abuse, with 2,246 cases registered in January-May 2014 and 2,298 this year.
A marked drop has occurred in manslaughters and murders, of which 20 were registered in the first five months of last year and 15 this year. The statistics include also attempted homicides.
Growth has been recorded in registered cases of serious damage to health (from 27 in 2014 to 39 this year), threats (from 268 to 297) and rapes (from 59 to 77).
A slight increase was observed also in drug-related crimes. Unlawful handling of large quantities of narcotics grew to 453 cases from 395 registered last year and handling of small quantities of drugs increased from 43 to 46.
Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review