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China

China Crime Stats

Edsel.G

Author: Edsel.G

The actual crime rate in China has so far been difficult to assess and confirm. Official statistics from the Chinese government says that crime in China is significantly lower than that of more advanced nations, including and especially the United States. Official estimates say that murder rate in China, for instance, is 5 times lower than that of the US.

Nonetheless, it is safe to say that China is relatively safe for visitors and for locals. The judicial system of the country is efficient enough to convict at least 98% of its criminal cases. The extensive prison system of the country has the second highest number of prisoners (1.55 million prisoners) and the death penalty in the country is the largest all over the world. Although a criminal death through the death penalty has significantly dropped last year to less than 500, it is still by far the largest anywhere. The highly severe punishments for even the most petty crimes and the police visibility in all important areas are usually enough to deter commission of most crimes.

However, terrorism does exist in the country. The huge disparity between rich and poor continues to feed crimes like theft, burglary, and counterfeit money. Rebellion and terrorism also abound in some regions especially in the Xinjiang province seeking more autonomy from the Chinese communist government. Corruption in many levels of the government also abound. Rough official estimates say that around 50 billion dollars are being funneled out of the country every year by corrupt officials. The current President of China, Xi Jinping, has taken serious and significant steps to eradicate the corruption problem with the conviction of key party and military officials accused of the crime.

Background:

Like most of the its Asian neighbours, China has very strict policies when it comes to crime. The death penalty is commonly used, and in fact in 2007, it carried out a total of 470 executions, the highest number that year and almost 33% more than the next most active nation, Iran. The prisons are still busy, however, with China boasting over 1.5 million prisoners, the 2nd largest prisoner population behind the US. However, its prisoners per capita rate of just 119 per 100,000 of the population is very respectable, and far behind the US' rate of 715.

Definitions

  • Age of criminal responsibility: The age at which a person is no longer excluded from criminal liability.  The lowest age is indicated for countries where there isn’t a single age limit, for example where different states have different regulations (such as the USA) or there is different limits for boy and girls (such as in Iran). The spectrum is specifically wide for the USA and Mexico (both 6-12 years). Several US states do not stipulate any minimal age for criminal responsibility at all. For further qualifications, exceptions and other notes, please refer to notes.
  • Age of criminal responsibility (notes): Additional information, qualifications, exceptions and notes on the age of criminal responsibility stat, which indicates the age at which a person is no longer excluded from criminal liability.
  • Assault rate: Number of assaults recorded by police per 100,000 population
  • Assaults: Number of assaults recorded by police in that country per 100,000 population.
  • Auto theft: Number of motor vehicle thefts (car thefts) recorded by police in that country per 100,000 population.
  • Believes crime increasing in the past 3 years: Crime increasing in the past 3 years. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "In the past three years would you say the level of crime in your community has increased, stayed about the same, or decreased?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Burglaries: Number of burglaries recorded by police in that country per 100,000 population.
  • Crime levels: Level of crime. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "How serious you feel the level of crime is?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Drug offences: Drug offence cases per 100,000 population (2000).
  • Drugs > HIV infections amongst drug users: Percentage of injecting drug users who are HIV positive.
  • Drugs > HIV testing amongst drug users: Estimated percentage of injecting drug users who have been tested for HIV.
  • Drugs > Lifetime cannabis use: Adult lifetime cannabis use.
  • Drugs > Opiates use: Annual prevalence.
  • Executions: Number of known executions in the country (Data is for 2007). Because these figures include only documented cases; the true figures are likely to be higher in many countries.
  • Fear of crime > Feels safe walking alone > At night: Safety walking alone during night. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "How safe do you feel walking alone in this city during the night?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Feels safe walking alone > During the day: Safety walking alone during daylight. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "How safe do you feel walking alone in this city during the daylight?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Violent hate crime: Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or religion. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How worried are you about)......being subject to a physical attack because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or religion?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Worries about being attacked: Worries attacked. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How worried are you about)......being physically attacked by strangers?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Worries about being insulted: Worries being insulted. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How worried are you about)......being insulted or pestered by anybody, while in the street or any other public place?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Worries about being mugged or robbed: Worries being mugged or robbed. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How worried are you about)......being mugged and robbed?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Fear of crime > Worries about home break and enter: Worries home broken and things stolen. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "How worried are you about....having your home broken into and something stolen?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Illicit drugs: Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence.
  • International Court of Justice > Current composition > Term End: Date term of judges of different nationality in the International Court of Justice will come to an end.
  • Judges: Number of professional judges per 100,000 population.
  • Judges and Magistrates: Number of Judges and Magistrates
  • Justice system > Punishment > Capital punishment (last execution year): Year of last use.
  • Murder rate: Homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants in various countries.
  • Murders > Per 100,000 people: Intentional homicide rate is the estimate of intentional homicides in a country as a result of domestic disputes that end in a killing, interpersonal violence, violent conflicts over land resources, inter-gang violence over turf or control, and predatory violence and killing by armed groups. The term, intentional homicide, is broad, but it does not include all intentional killing. In particular, deaths arising from armed conflict are usually considered separately. The difference is usually described by the organisation of the killing. Individuals or small groups usually commit homicide, whereas the killing in armed conflict is usually committed by more or less cohesive groups of up to several hundred members. Two main sources of data are presented: criminal justice (law enforcement) measures (this series), supplemented by data from national statistical agencies, and measures from public health sources (see other intentional homicide series). These various sources measure slightly different phenomena and are therefore unlikely to provide identical numbers."
  • Murders > WHO: Intentional homicide rate is the estimate of intentional homicides in a country as a result of domestic disputes that end in a killing, interpersonal violence, violent conflicts over land resources, inter-gang violence over turf or control, and predatory violence and killing by armed groups. The term, intentional homicide, is broad, but it does not include all intentional killing. In particular, deaths arising from armed conflict are usually considered separately. The difference is usually described by the organisation of the killing. Individuals or small groups usually commit homicide, whereas the killing in armed conflict is usually committed by more or less cohesive groups of up to several hundred members. Two main sources of data are presented: criminal justice (law enforcement) measures (this series), supplemented by data from national statistical agencies, and measures from public health sources (see other intentional homicide series). These various sources measure slightly different phenomena and are therefore unlikely to provide identical numbers."
  • Perceived problems > Illegal drugs: Problem people using or dealing drugs. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How much of a problem are...) people using or dealing drugs?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Perceived problems > Problem corruption and bribery: Problem corruption and bribery. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How much of a problem are...) corruption and bribery?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Perceived problems > Problem violent crimes including assault and armed robbery: Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How much of a problem are...) violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Perceived problems > Property crimes including vandalism and theft: Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft. Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. The surveys were conducted by numbeo.com from July, 2011 to February, 2014. See this sample survey for the United States, respondents were asked "(How much of a problem are...) property crimes such as vandalism and theft?". The higher the value, the more survey respondents believe it is high in their country.
  • Prisoners: Total persons incarcerated
  • Prisoners > Female: Female prisoners, expressed as a percentage share of the total prison population. Data for 2003.
  • Prisoners > Per capita: Data for 2003. Number of prisoners held per 100,000 population.
  • Prisoners per 1000: Total persons incarcerated. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Prosecution rate: Number of people prosecuted.
  • Punishment > Crimes possibly attracting life sentence: Possible other sentence.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Punishment > Crimes requiring mandatory sentence: Mandatory sentence.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Punishment > Has life imprisonment: Life imprisonment.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Punishment > Life sentence under the age of 18 or 21: Under age of 18 (or 21).

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Punishment > Maximum length of sentence: Maximum length of sentence (under life).

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Punishment > Minimum life sentence to serve before eligibility for requesting parole: Minimum to serve before eligibility for requesting parole.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Robberies: Number of robberies recorded by police in that country per 100,000 population.
  • Serious assaults: Number of major assaults recorded by police in that country per 100,000 population.
  • Software piracy rate: The piracy rate is the total number of units of pirated software deployed in 2007 divided by the total units of software installed.
  • Violent crime > Gun crime > Guns per 100 residents: Number of privately owned small firearms per 100 residents.
  • Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate: Homicides per 100’000 residents. Homicide is the death of a person purposefully inflicted by another person (it excludes suicides) outside of a state of war. Homicide is a broader category than murder, as it also includes manslaughter. The exact legal definition varies across countries, some of which include infanticide, assisted suicide, euthanasia and deaths caused by dangerous driving.
  • Violent crime > Murder rate: Intentional homicide, number and rate per 100,000 population.
  • Violent crime > Murder rate per million people: Intentional homicide, number and rate per 100,000 population. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Violent crime > Murders: Intentional homicide, number and rate per 100,000 population.
  • Violent crime > Murders per million people: Intentional homicide, number and rate per 100,000 population. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Age of criminal responsibility 14 2014 28th out of 58
Age of criminal responsibility (notes) Absolute minimum for acts that constitute the following crimes: homicide, wounding resulting in death, rape, robbery, arson, explosion, planting of toxic substances and trafficking in dangerous drugs. The minimum age for other crimes are 16. In Hong Kong, the minimum age is 10 and in Macau, 16. 2014
Assault rate 9.5 2011 83th out of 93
Assaults 9.5 2000 10th out of 13
Auto theft 35.5 2000 5th out of 13
Believes crime increasing in the past 3 years 49.28 2014 82nd out of 93
Burglaries 90.7 2000 5th out of 10
Crime levels 22.1 2014 83th out of 93
Drug offences 3.9 per 100,000 people 2000 59th out of 60
Drugs > HIV infections amongst drug users 6.3% 2012 14th out of 24
Drugs > HIV testing amongst drug users 36.8% 2012 15th out of 24
Drugs > Lifetime cannabis use 0.3% 2002 8th out of 8
Drugs > Opiates use 0.2% 2003 7th out of 14
Executions 470 executions 2007 1st out of 38
Fear of crime > Feels safe walking alone > At night 72.89 2014 13th out of 93
Fear of crime > Feels safe walking alone > During the day 85.71 2014 27th out of 93
Fear of crime > Violent hate crime 21.13 2014 68th out of 93
Fear of crime > Worries about being attacked 24.31 2014 78th out of 93
Fear of crime > Worries about being insulted 30.71 2014 71st out of 93
Fear of crime > Worries about being mugged or robbed 25.36 2014 76th out of 93
Fear of crime > Worries about home break and enter 26.81 2014 80th out of 93
Illicit drugs major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry 2011
International Court of Justice > Current composition > Term End 2012 2012
Judges 14% 1995 12th out of 41
Judges and Magistrates 204,096 2002 1st out of 62
Justice system > Punishment > Capital punishment (last execution year) 2,014 2014 3rd out of 43
Murder rate 1.2 2007
Murders > Per 100,000 people 2.2 2004 90th out of 122
Murders > WHO 1.9 2004 131st out of 184
Perceived problems > Illegal drugs 26.74 2014 81st out of 93
Perceived problems > Problem corruption and bribery 76.23 2014 39th out of 93
Perceived problems > Problem violent crimes including assault and armed robbery 23.91 2014 71st out of 93
Perceived problems > Property crimes including vandalism and theft 37.86 2014 75th out of 93
Prisoners 1.55 million prisoners 2002 2nd out of 168
Prisoners > Female 4.4% 2003 57th out of 134
Prisoners > Per capita 119 per 100,000 people 2003 71st out of 164
Prisoners per 1000 1.21 prisoners 2002 74th out of 166
Prosecution rate 56 2006 39th out of 46
Punishment > Crimes possibly attracting life sentence Various 2014
Punishment > Crimes requiring mandatory sentence No 2014
Punishment > Has life imprisonment Yes 2014
Punishment > Life sentence under the age of 18 or 21 Yes 2014
Punishment > Maximum length of sentence None 2014
Punishment > Minimum life sentence to serve before eligibility for requesting parole 10 years for non-violent crimes; never for murder, rape, kidnap, arson, explosives offences, putting hazardous materials or other organized violent crimes 2014
Robberies 24.5 2000 9th out of 11
Serious assaults 0.2 2000 7th out of 9
Software piracy rate 82% 2007 18th out of 106
Violent crime > Gun crime > Guns per 100 residents 4.9 2014 97th out of 170
Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate 1.12 2008 80th out of 92
Violent crime > Murder rate 13,410 2010 6th out of 86
Violent crime > Murder rate per million people 10.02 2010 74th out of 86
Violent crime > Murders 13,410 2010 6th out of 86
Violent crime > Murders per million people 10.02 2010 74th out of 86

SOURCES: Wikipedia: Defense of infancy (Ages of criminal responsibility by country); Wikipedia: Defense of infancy (Ages of criminal responsibility by country); European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control International Statistics on Crime and Justice, 2011; European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control International Statistics on Crime and Justice, 2011; crime; The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention); Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Source tables; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Source tables; Mostly Table GPS-8 Part (i) ''Lifetime prevalence of drug use among all adults (aged 15 to 64 years old) in nationwide surveys among the general population'' EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) unless otherwise referred on Wikipedia: Adult lifetime cannabis use by country; Wikipedia: List of countries by prevalence of opiates use ("World Drug Report 2011" . United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2011. "World Drug Report 2006" . United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2006. http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2009/WDR2009_eng_web.pdf); Amnesty International; CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; Various sources compiled into Wikipedia's: International Court of Justice; Wikipedia: Capital punishment in Europe (Abolition); UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Survey of Crime Trends, at http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/IHS-rates-05012009.pdf.; World Health Organisation.; International Centre for Prison Studies - World Prison Brief; The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention). Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: Life imprisonment (Summary by country); Fifth Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study; Annexe I of the Small Arms Survey 2007 ; Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Source tables; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Source tables. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.

Citation

China Crime Profiles (Subcategories)

Drugs 4 Prosecutions 4
Fear of crime 9 Punishment 6
Perceived problems 4 Violent crime 6
Prisoners 3
  • China ranked first for prisoners amongst Emerging markets in 2002.

2

The actual crime rate in China has so far been difficult to assess and confirm. Official statistics from the Chinese government says that crime in China is significantly lower than that of more advanced nations, including and especially the United States. Official estimates say that murder rate in China, for instance, is 5 times lower than that of the US.

Nonetheless, it is safe to say that China is relatively safe for visitors and for locals. The judicial system of the country is efficient enough to convict at least 98% of its criminal cases. The extensive prison system of the country has the second highest number of prisoners (1.55 million prisoners) and the death penalty in the country is the largest all over the world. Although a criminal death through the death penalty has significantly dropped last year to less than 500, it is still by far the largest anywhere. The highly severe punishments for even the most petty crimes and the police visibility in all important areas are usually enough to deter commission of most crimes.

However, terrorism does exist in the country. The huge disparity between rich and poor continues to feed crimes like theft, burglary, and counterfeit money. Rebellion and terrorism also abound in some regions especially in the Xinjiang province seeking more autonomy from the Chinese communist government. Corruption in many levels of the government also abound. Rough official estimates say that around 50 billion dollars are being funneled out of the country every year by corrupt officials. The current President of China, Xi Jinping, has taken serious and significant steps to eradicate the corruption problem with the conviction of key party and military officials accused of the crime.

Posted on 06 Apr 2014

Edsel.G

Edsel.G

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