56% of Latvians don't report violence they've suffered

About 40% of Latvians don't turn to the police after they've seen a violation or crime; and even more - 56% - don't report violence they've suffered, according to a survey by Latvia's State Police.

It turns out that Latvia has a high number of so-called latent or unreported crime. "The most latent crimes are...bodily harm or domestic violence," State Police representative Andis Rinkevics told Latvian Radio April 18.

Nevertheless, the situation is not dissimilar from that in the rest of the EU. "40% seems a lot, but in truth we're similar to the other European states," said Rinkevics. 

Most often people choose not to turn to the police as they think the offence is minor, like having something stolen by a pickpocket on public transportation. Others think the police won't help them, or that it will take too much time to turn to the police.

The reasons why people don't report violent crime, however, are different. "This usually happens in the family or between acquaintances. The reason why they don't report it, is because they don't want anyone else to know. So these reasons are deeply personal," he said.

Each year the police receive 7,000 to 8,000 calls about domestic violence. According to the survey, 56% of the people who've suffered violence choose not to report it to the police. 

Rinkevics said that violent crime, against people of both sexes, is often not reported at all. "It's especially the case when this concerns rape or any other indecent acts against a man. In these cases, almost no one turns to the police," said Rinkevics.

The police presented the results of the survey, which spanned some 3,000 people, to the parliament on April 18.

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