Figures released last month by Spain’s central statistics unit paint an interesting picture of the geography of crime throughout the country, with the Comunidad Valenciana not coming off too well in comparison to national averages across Spain.
Many would consider that the figures are distorted somewhat by the inclusion of traffic and driving offences, which account for 101,000 off the 275,000 offences and crimes analyzed in the nationwide statistics for 2013, but the conclusions of the statistical survey still make interesting reading: across the country last year there are calculated to have been 5.7 adults convicted of offences per 1,000 inhabitants over the age of 18, one of the lowest figures in Europe.
In the region of Valencia, though, the equivalent figure is 6.5 per 1,000 inhabitants, the fourth highest figure among the seventeen Autonomous Communities. The only other regions exceeding the national average were the Balearics, Murcia, the Canaries and Andalucía, which seems to indicate that the southern Mediterranean coastline and the islands are more prone to law-breaking than the rest of the country, mainly because they have such a high level of holiday property which lies empty for most of the year.
This generalization is backed up by the figures for the autonomous cities of Melilla and Ceuta on the north African coast, where crime rates are far higher than any of the regions mentioned above criminal activity than making it the second on the list.
In terms of specific types of crime, the picture is similar. The homicide rate in Spain of 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants is one of the lowest in the world, but was around 1.5 last year in Murcia, the Balearics, Extremadura, Madrid and La Rioja and over 1 in the Comunidad Valenciana. (By comparison in the USA there were 4.7 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants). In terms of full-scale murder the table was headed by Navarra.
In terms of robbery and theft, though, Spain’s crime rate is not so impressive. According to one study Spain has the second highest incidence rate of these crimes among OECD countries, and the Mediterranean regions of Andalucía, Catalunya and Murcia are the only ones where there are more robberies than offences causing injury or damages. Murcia topped the violent robbery league table with 89 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed again by the Mediterranean regions of the Balearics, Andalucía and the Comunidad Valenciana, while those areas with fewest robberies were the northern regions of Asturias, Galicia, Navarra and the Basque Country.
In terms of non-violent robbery Murcia was pushed down to fourth place in the table by the Balearics, Cantabria and Asturias.
Even in the category of offences against road safety the areas where most infringements were reported last year were once again the Comunidad Valenciana, Murcia, the Balearics, the Canaries and, bucking the general geographical trend, Galicia. Either the traffic police are more enthusiastic in these Regions or, according to the statistics, drivers in Valencia break the law almost twice as often as those in Aragón (234 offences per 100,000 as opposed to 139).
In the light of these worrying statistics it’s pleasing and comforting to note that in the region of Valencia last year at least there were no reported cases of induced suicide. However, three crimes of kidnapping children and six cases of torture are included in the central statistics unit’s survey.
All Text and Images are Subject to Copyright