Foreign experience of victimological crime prevention

The article analyzes foreign experience of victimological crime prevention through foreign public organizations. There are some suggestions for implementing positive foreign experience of victimological research in Ukraine.

Keywords: crime prevention, victim, damages, public organizations.

Victimological direction of effect on crime is one of the most humane and perspective. As noted, K. Vishnevetsky, “conceptual analysis of different views on victimological prevention as social control shows that in the countries of Western Europe and the USA the most important function of victimological prevention is to support requisite relation between the inevitable processes of criminalization and decriminalization of society, which are the result of objective reasons” [1, p. 53].

The victimological prevention system in the countries of the West is made up of items that can be grouped into three categories: the neutralization of the objective conditions of victimization of the individual or social group; the elucidative work among specific population groups and victimological propagation; assistance to victims, including the system of state compensation and damages. It should be noted that “nowadays the behavior of the victim in criminological concepts is treated as an important element in the system of determination of the offense therefore the victimological prevention in the West countries is a specific component of the state and civil society in the prevention of crime” [1, p. 54]. The main subject of preventive activities in the framework of first selected group is state and government, and in the framework of second and third selected groups, except the government agencies, is public (non-governmental) organizations and charitable foundations.

In the Western countries an important and often essential, elements of victimological crime prevention are a public organizations which are established to protect the interests of victims of crime, assistance to victims and combating recidivism of victimization. The public participation in the prevention of crime is a major victimological idea. The Western scientists of victimology (Hall, Williams) supposed that “the public self-government has a strong potential of social regulation which can neutralizes victimological impact on society by contemporary processes of urbanization” [2, p. 34; 3, p. 267]. Therefore, in the world commonly public creates the victimological organizations which have a significant impact on the effect on criminality.

The list of recommendations of scientists of victimology which were implemented in practice is great. One of the main victimological ideas which have the most noticeable impact on the prevention of crime is necessary to unite the forces of the public. In many countries (USA, Canada, Germany) were created associations of residents, associations of neighborhoods, associations of parents etc. Neighbours united for alternate supervision of buildings. Neighborhoods’ associations operate so effectively that in many capitalist countries it became part of social psychology. Criminals did not approach to the doors of stranger house because neighborhoods promptly call to the police. The state provides comprehensive support for these initiatives of such residents. Actively promoted victimology architects (commonly it called architectural criminological theory or theories of space). In the design of urban areas and towns architects tried to minimize closed, victimological places which complicates attacks on persons (France, Italy). The houses in the villages are built in such a way that the entrances and windows are clearly visible for neighbours.

In addition to the World Victimological Organization, there are other organizations supporting victims of crime. In 1987 at Stockholm was established European Forum for Victim Support, which holds annual conferences. It includes representatives from 15 countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and others. In the Forum also carries out the legislative work on victimological crime prevention. For example, at a conference in 1998 were adopted by the Council of Europe recommendations of minimum standard rules for providing information to tourists which became victims of crime and other foreign citizens who visit to the EU; the recommendations of improvement of the work of translation into foreign languages ​​criminal process; recommendations of  increase awareness among law enforcement officials about the needs of foreign tourists who became victims of crime; recommendations of the need for reliable and complete statistics on victimization in international tourism.

Since 1990 in Canada operates online Victimological Association – information network, which provides advice to practicing lawyers, scientists of victimology, victimological organizations, victims and witnesses and other interested parties. The main goal of the Association is to assist victims of crime and crime prevention in general through information exchange. Since the mid 90’s of the 20th century in the International Victimology Institute (Amsterdam) holds the International Crime Victimization Survey, which covers the major counties of the world and is “a form of active international cooperation in studying the phenomenon of crime which allows reveal the level of victimization and latency in different countries by comparing” [1, p. 54]. In 1987 in Germany was initiated World Victimological Society where have been published computer bibliography in German and English. The bibliography gathers all available scientific and practical information on issues of crime victims. This work is an integral part of the multifaceted activities of an International Network of Crime Prevention and Victim Support which conducts as the exchange of information between national and international organizations of assistance victims.

In a number of Western countries for coordinate activities victimological organizations were created national bodies, committees, councils, etc., which provide accordance work funds and organizations with national standards of charity work , develop guidelines for improving victimological propaganda, collect and summarize the most interesting experience,  provide communications public organizations with government agencies and  help to establish contacts with similar organizations abroad. In the United Kingdom – the National Association of Victim Support Schemes, in France – the National Institute for Assistance for Victims (INAVEM), which is established in 1986 to coordinate activities more than sixty local victimological associations. In the Netherlands is the National Organization for Victim Support (NOVS). In the United States of America there is no such official organization, but its function is largely provides the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA). In Italy also no unitary organization of assistance victims, but there are many associations for assistance to victims of terrorism, organized crime, victims of theft, etc., usually created by those who survived after these crimes or by relatives of the victims.

In conclusion, we can ascertain that in their area victimological studies which conducted in recent years in foreign countries, can be summarized in three main areas: the first covers the conceptual nature – the subject of victimology, the notion of victim, victimology relationships with other sciences, the role of victim in the proceedings, the victim typology, the second – the study of the victim and her relationship with the offender in various types of crimes.

The familiarities with the victimological experience of European Union and the USA suggests that in modern Ukraine no victimological security system and victimological government policy that would be in scale compared with Western counterparts. At the same time, Ukraine has fully developed theoretical framework formation of victimological prevention. In our country created first public organizations with victimological or partially victimological orientation (the community of defrauded depositors and investors, the community of consumer protection, etc.). However, it is not united sense of common goals of victimological criminal motives in its own ideology mild, no desire to use a theoretical basis of domestic and foreign victimology. The experience of Western countries shows that the role of movement of victimological initiative performs civil society and government funding. Unfortunately, in Ukraine the organizational role of the state and public authorities in forming the unified system of victimological prevention, the development of the legal framework does not to meet contemporary challenges.


Reference List:

1. K. V. Vishnevetsky About foreign experience of victimological prevention of crimes. – Modern Law. – 2008. – № 2 – p. 53-57.

2. Hall Matthew Victims of crime. Policy and practice in criminal justice. – Willan Publishing, 2009. – 249 p.

3. Marilyn D. McShane, Franklin P. Williams Victims of Crime and the Victimization Process. – California State University Press, 1986. – 374 p.

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