Report on Criminal Statistics in Ukraine
The report analyzes the situation in the area of criminal statistics and presents specific conclusions and recommendations for the legislator and law enforcement agencies.
Report on Criminal Statistics in Ukraine
The report was prepared on the basis of a specially developed methodology for comprehensive assessment of the current state of criminal statistics development in Ukraine through the lens of the statistical standards of the UN, European Union, as well as the need to ensure the receipt of objective information on criminal offenses, the activities of operational units of law enforcement agencies, pre-trial investigation bodies, prosecutors, judges, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, bodies that enforce criminal court decisions.
The report analyzes the situation in the area of criminal statistics and presents specific conclusions and recommendations for the legislator and law enforcement agencies. The main ones are:
1. In order to ensure social stability of the state, it is of utmost importance to provide that the state authorities and local self-government bodies obtain, interpret and use on a continuous basis for decision-making in the area of public safety, the objective statistical information on the quantitative and qualitative parameters of criminal offenses: the most dangerous manifestations of individual or group unlawful behavior of persons, as well as implementation by public authorities, defined by criminal, criminal procedural, criminal executive and other legislation, of the response measures to these negative social phenomena, their relationships and results.
In accordance with the UN standards and the pan-European statistical doctrine, such statistical information is included in the block of statistics on society and is subject to statistical research at the state level.
In Ukraine, despite the fact, that according to the Law “On the State Statistics” social statistics is a component of statistical observations at the state level, in practice, criminal statistics are not among the social statistical surveys carried out by the State Statistics Service. The compilation of criminal statistics has been largely delegated to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO), the State Judicial Administration (SJA), as well as the National Agency for Finding, Tracing and Management of Assets Derived from Corruption and Other Crimes (ARMA), the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC), the State Criminal Executive Service (SCES), the State Executive Service (SES). In practice, the State Statistics Service is the consumer of the statistics produced by these bodies based on their own administrative needs. However, these needs are limited to solving the tasks assigned to these public authorities and they may conflict with the public interest.
2. A necessity exists in developing and adopting the Law “On Criminal Statistics”, which should define the area, subjects, the central body of criminal statistics’ production and the basis for its interaction with the bodies that carry out statistical researches for the elaboration of national criminal statistics. The Law should also provide for directions and subjects of use of the criminal statistics, as well as amend and supplement the laws that would provide for the submission, verification of quality and reliability of administrative data for statistical purposes by the central authority in the area of criminal statistics and collect information for metadata generation that explains the statistics and changes from the previous statistical observation periods, taking into account the need to meet data confidentiality requirements.
The most practical way to ensure the production of qualitative and reliable criminal statistics is the establishment of the State Agency for Criminal Statistics as a central body of executive power.
3. Provisions of legal acts and guidelines for the production of criminal statistics should aim at eliminating deficiencies in the existing system of producing criminal statistics, notably, where it does not meet the ESS standards. In particular:
1) at the legislative level, it is necessary to ensure:
1.1) independence of the central body of criminal statistics (State Agency for Criminal Statistics) from political and administrative influence on the production of statistical information – to consolidate its status as a central executive body, to provide for its subordination to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), to establish the procedures for the selection of its executives and employees, qualification requirements for the occupation of these positions and grounds for their dismissal, as well as the remuneration system and the procedure of financial and logistical support;
1.2) independent conduct of statistical surveys – to delegate the central body in the field of criminal statistics the authority to:
- access the automated information systems containing data relevant for the production of criminal statistics (registration by law enforcement authorities of statements and notifications of criminal offenses and other events, the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations, the Automated Court Document Management System (Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System after its launch), the Unified State Register of Persons who Committed Corruption or Corruption-related Offenses, the Unified State Register of Assets Seized in Criminal Proceedings and the Automated System of Executive Proceedings, etc.) and in the absence of automated systems for registration and processing of data, to the documents containing this data;
- develop, improve and approve a scientifically justified statistical methodology of research in the field of criminal statistics, and in agreement with the State Statistics Service – forms of statistical reporting for its submission to Eurostat;
- submit proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers on the need to adopt the legal acts necessary to ensure the conduct of research in the field of criminal statistics;
- approve the reporting forms and statistical documentation for statistical observations (except for the state classification of criminal offenses), as well as the standard forms of primary accounting documentation required for their conduct, developed jointly with the PGO, the National Police (NP), the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), the revenue and fees bodies, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), the State Tax Service (STS), and the NAPC, ARMA, SCES, SES, SJA in agreement with the State Statistics Service;
- request from the state authorities the statistical reports they produce for their own administrative needs;
- require the state authorities to provide the necessary administrative data within a specified timeframe to analyze statistical indicators in order to produce metadata on criminal statistics objects;
- conduct sociological surveys among the officials of public authorities, other persons on issues relevant to the formation of a report on criminal statistics, in particular, metadata to it;
1.3) carrying out of statistical researches in the cases necessary for this purpose, when the central body in the field of criminal statistics does not have intellectual, technical and human resources, involvement of research institutions, sociological firms, individual scientists on a paid basis;
1.4) assessing the effectiveness of the operational and search activities of operational units of law enforcement agencies by analogy with the normative provisions of paragraph 1 of Part 3 of Art. 26 of the Law “On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine”: preparation of annual reports on the number of operational investigative cases and their realization in the form of criminal proceedings initiated by these operational units and submission of such reports to the central body in the area of criminal statistics;
1.5) systematic publication of statistical reports, avoiding delays or non-publishing them at all – to consolidate the obligation of the central authority in the area of criminal statistics to draw up and publish schedules for the release of statistical reports, in case of a change, before the determined date of publication of the statistical report, notification of the public thereof and the responsibility of the head of this body for these actions;
1.6) timely implementation by the authorities of criminal policy measures within the scope of their powers – to provide for the preparation of forecasts for the authorities of the trends in the phenomena within the range of criminal statistics’ objects and proposals for the necessary decisions.
2) at the level of by-laws:
2.1) consolidation of the directions of the production of administrative data for the compilation of criminal statistics:
- the NP, the SSU, the STS, bodies of revenue and fees, the SCES, the NABU, the SBI – in terms of operational and search activities;
- the PGO, the NP, the SSU, the MOF, the NABU, the SBI – terms of identified criminal offenses, pre-trial investigation of criminal proceedings against them, the activity of the prosecutor, and the PGO as the body that consolidates these data;
- the NAPC – state of corruption in the country;
- the ARMA – detection, investigation and management of assets in criminal proceedings;
- the SJA – activities of criminal jurisdiction courts;
- the MOJ – activities of the secondary legal aid centers;
- the SCES, the SES – enforcement of court decisions in criminal proceedings;
2.2) determination of a mechanism for exercising the powers of the central authority in the area of criminal statistics on access to automated information and telecommunication systems that contain data relevant for the production of criminal statistics (registration by law enforcement authorities of statements and notifications of criminal offenses and other events, the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations, the Automated Court Document Management System (Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System after its launch), the Unified State Register of Persons who Committed Corruption or Corruption-related Offenses, the Unified State Register of Assets Seized in Criminal Proceedings and the Automated System of Executive Proceedings, etc microdata, administrative data not contained in such systems but relevant to the production of criminal statistics, taking into account the need to maintain the confidentiality of microdata, especially in the area of state secrets;
2.3) approval of the classification of criminal offenses, developed in accordance with national criminal legislation and the International Classification of Crimes for Statistical Purposes Option 1.0., approved by the decision of the UN Statistics Commission;
3) at the level of methodological recommendations, to ensure:
3.1) clearly defined and mutually agreed parameters for the implementation of statistical observations by bodies producing administrative data for criminal statistics;
3.2) procedures for providing authorized officials of the central body in the area of criminal statistics access to microdata and administrative data, which served as basis for the generation of criminal statistics submitted to this body;
3.3) requirements for the structure, forms of submission of aggregated statistical information (tabular, graphical, interactive, using geographical information technologies), the formation procedure, requirements for the content of metadata of criminal statistics;
3.4) description of the methodology for conducting sociological surveys among the population on issues of sense of their own safety, evaluation of the activity of law enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s offices, courts, and among employees of law enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s offices, the NAPC, the SES, the SCES, the SJA, judges – on their activities aimed at the formation of metadata of criminal statistics.
This study was produced with the financial support of the European Union within the framework of the CPLR project “Strengthening the Role of Civil Society in Facilitating Democratic Reforms and Increasing Accountability, Responsibility, and Quality of Government”. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the CPLR and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.