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May 15, 2021

Police report spike in financial crime, fewer acts of violence

The number of economic and financial crimes has increased 10 per cent since last year, with over 4,700 cases of tax evasion in which more than 3,300 people are being probed so far, according to police statistics quoted by daily ‘Jurnalul National’ yesterday. But while a hike in financial crimes was to be expected, accompanied by a higher number of armed robberies, given the current economic crisis, police gave surprisingly low figures as regards other offences, including thefts and acts of violence.

According to police data, thefts dropped by ten per cent and violent offences (murder, attempted murder, rape, mugging and causing injuries that lead to death) dropped by 15 per cent in the first four months of the year, compared to the same time last year, daily ‘Gandul’ said. Drops were also reported in thefts from companies and stolen car cases.

The head of the Romanian police, Petre Toba, says the drop is due to increased police actions. “We have managed to reach an intervention time of less than ten minutes, in 90 per cent of the cases. We had more police agents in the street and we managed to keep crime rate under control. Where we saw a hike in the number of thefts, we triggered immediate action, prevention campaigns and deployed a higher number of police and gendarmes,” Toba said, quoted by ‘Gandul.’ The data reveals the police intervened in over 150,000 events and conducted over 60,000 raids in the first part of the year.

But a psychologist quoted by the newspaper, Hanibal Dumitrascu, cast doubt on the accuracy of police statistics. “Drops compared to last year, when the crisis emerged? I doubt things are like that. Psycho-social studies demonstrate that in an economic crisis, deviant behaviors, including violent ones, multiply,” Dumitrascu said. He added that he expects a significant hike in violent attacks in broad daylight. The psychologist also thinks the capital will become increasingly vulnerable to crimes. “They turned Bucharest into the luxury shop window of safety. This fortress has begun to show cracks, however,” he said. But the Bucharest police spokesperson, Christian Ciocan, disagreed, saying that major criminal offences will not appear in large numbers in the capital and underlining that the police are ready to keep the issue in check.

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