Criminaliteit en herstelrecht op Curaҫao 2014

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Criminaliteit en herstelrecht op Curaҫao 2014

A Victims Survey and an Opinion Poll on Restorative Justice were held in Curaçao from early April to halfway May. In a Victims Survey, crime is measured based on the victims’ experience, focusing on the scale and composition of crime, the public’s reporting behavior and the levels of fear and anxiety among respondents. The poll respondents were asked to share their opinion on certain aspects of Restorative Justice.

In the year prior to the survey, more than one in every four (27.5%) respondents had become the victim of a crime. Compared to 2008 (26%), the percentage of victimization in one year’s time had risen slightly. In 2014, 65.8 percent of respondents had become the victim of an unlawful act at some point in time. In 2008, that figure was 80 percent. Thus, a higher percentage of people and households now indicate having been victimized at some point in their lives. The types of crime experienced most often include theft of items from a car or car parts, consumer fraud, theft from the yard, premises or porch and car vandalism. Time-independent victimization involved mainly burglary, theft of items from a car or car parts and theft from the yard, premises, porch or garage. Older respondents have been victimized by crime to a lesser extent compared to younger ones. Additionally, respondents with higher levels of education and income seem to have been victimized by crime more often. In 2014, willingness to report crimes increased compared to 2008. Car theft, burglary, domestic violence, hit-and-runs, theft of items from a car or car parts and robbery/theft of personal items are the types of crime most frequently reported to the police. Consumer fraud and corruption are reported the least. In 2014, respondent satisfaction with police efforts to solve cases remained virtually at the same level as in 2008. Respondents report a higher level of satisfaction when it comes to car theft, domestic violence and hit-and-runs. A high level of dissatisfaction is seen in cases involving theft of items from a car or car parts, burglary and car vandalism. The results do not show any correlation of age and level of education with the willingness to report crime. They do show, however, that male respondents report crimes more frequently than females do.The four generally most often cited motives for not reporting a crime were: the respondent did not consider the incident to be serious, the police would not have done anything about it anyway, the victim took care of the matter him/herself or knows the offender, or the matter was not fit for police intervention/no police intervention was required.

Six years after the last survey, crime-related fear and anxiety are higher. More than half of the population surveyed indicates having strong to very strong feelings of fear and anxiety. These feelings are more pronounced among female respondents than among males, and are also higher in the 35-64 age category. Strong feelings of fear and anxiety are reported less among respondents 65 years and older. Fewer than half of the respondents are unwilling to engage in a conversation with the offender if the situation presents itself. The rest are willing. Only a small minority is in doubt, and their doubts have to do mostly with the type of crime involved. The willingness to engage in conversation with the offender depends on the type of crime involved. Respondents are less willing to meet with the offender to talk about the incident if the crime involved ranges from serious to very serious. There is more willingness in case of less serious crimes. Male and female respondents do not differ as to their willingness to speak to the offender. The responses did vary, however, by victimization and age. Respondents who have been victims of crime tend to be more willing to meet with the offender. Furthermore, older respondents seem less willing to meet with the offender as compared to younger ones. A considerable percentage of the group including both the willing and those in doubt sees the restorative approach as being either “valuable” or “very valuable.” 

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